Whatever you are reading put it down and read this.
Nature’s Best Hope is a book of DIY conservation. It explains why and how we should plant trees on our lawns and which trees to choose for maximum benefit to wildlife. It explains the mechanics of ecology in ways that are crystal clear, easy to understand and very motivating.
The book presents a history of our relationship to wildness and nature and talks about how and why the aesthetic of our landscaping of private land is the way it is. Tallamy suggests that the current aesthetic of suburban front yards is a status symbol that says “I have the money and time to manicure and weed my lawn” and is a symbol of community solidarity and a message that we care about our property and look after it. The problem is that the aesthetic is outdated and actually does an enormous amount of damage to the land and to wildlife we are trying to signal that we care about. He suggests ways to update that culture so our aesthetic supports our values.
His ideas of how to make forests instead of lawns would save, money, time, and fuel and provide productive biomass, habitat and take carbon from the atmosphere… Really his ideas would solve a lot of our problems. If you own land you must read this book. It will guide you to make a deeper more loving relationship to your land and your neighborhood. If you are feeling nervous about climate change, or loss of biodiversity, read this book. It will give you hope and ideas about how you can be a positive influence in the world.