The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province has responded to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform by creating the Dorothy Stang Initiative for Laudato Si’ Action. While in the process of gathering data from sisters, associates, staff, donors and others in our circle, we were reminded that all steps we take are important - both big and small. We therefore introduce Your Little Bit of Good, a short weekly one-pager that focuses on some aspect of the environment. It is an attempt to bring forward small things we can do.
Director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation
"We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
This quote from Mahatma Gandhi is often interpreted to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” But I like to focus on: “We need not wait to see what others do.”
Last month, I read a post on social media from a local company called Indigenous Landscapes. In 2015, they transformed a1.65 acre lawn into a native meadow. What once was a colorless, bee-less lawn, has, in 7 years, turned into a plot full of color and life. In an hour and a half, the naturalists identified, “4 Bumblebee species including the endangered Bombus pensylvanicus (American Bumblebee), the Common Eastern Bumblebee -Bombus impatiens, the TwoSpotted Bumblebee - Bombus bimaculatus, and Brown Belted bumblebee - Bombus griseocollis. They’ve successfully colonized the 1.65 acre native meadow installation along with many solitary native bees, butterflies, and moths throughout the 7 years of its existence in place of former lawn.”
In addition to bringing color and life back, the other great part of a native meadow is that it requires no watering, insecticides or fertilizer, and mowing is only required once a year in late winter to prevent tree/ shrub encroachment. So, they have eliminated the chemicals and reduced the carbon emissions produced in a weekly mow.
In a past YLBG, we talked about the importance of bees and other pollinators to the world food supply. Native landscapes help here too. Nature will thrive if given the space to do so. In the above example, that space was only 1.65 acres!
The US Forest Service has 6 reasons why everyone should plant native species in their area. There are many resources on this page as well. There are so many benefits to native landscapes and meadows. Maybe you can make a corner of your world into one!
Would you like to learn more about how to create an indigenous landscape in your yard? Or, at least, to remove invasive species and plant native ones? Locally, in Cincinnati OH, check out Indigenous Landscapes. For those outside the area, a quick Google search could lead you in the right direction. Also, there are books to check out and many other options on the web. Remember: “We will have the future that consumers demand.” We will only have change if we show that we want it! Advocate! Take Action! And VOTE!