Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Up-Side to Bad Economy

Each week I will explore a positive change brought on by today’s faltering economy.
Welcome to my 3rd installment: Why we need Wildflowers

Native Wildflowers have many benefits and they should be grown and aloud to spread to ensure future health and well being of future generations. By one estimate, 25 percent of Michigan's plants will be extinct by 2050, as the result of loss of habitat due to development and invasion by aggressive non-native plants. This estimate does not include the possible effects of global warming.

Butterfly Weed or Orange Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa L. Protected Wildflower - PLEASE DO

Flowering plants actually reduce global warming because they produce breathable oxygen by utilizing the carbon dioxide created by plants and animals as they respire. Allowing these roadside meadows to thrive would improve the environment. Once established, native plants do not need pesticides, fertilizers, or watering. Not only is this good for the environment, it saves time and money. A native landscape does not need to be mowed like a conventional lawn. This reduces the demand for non-renewable resources and improves the water and air quality. The periodic burning (or mowing when burning is not practical) required for maintenance of a prairie landscape mimics the natural prairie cycle and is much better for the environment. Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses helps return the area to a healthy ecosystem. Diverse varieties of birds, butterflies and animals, are attracted to the native plants, thus enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The beauty of native wildflowers and grasses creates a sense of place, both at home and work. The native plants increase our connection to nature, help educate our neighbors, and provide a beautiful, peaceful place to relax.

Michigan Lily Lilium superbum L.

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