Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Are You a WIld One?

I remember the house in our neighborhood that went wild. I remember my parents complaining every time we drove past and muttering "when are they going to mow their lawn?" What we all didn't realize at the time was that they weren't being lazy or trying to irritate the neighbors, they were creating a prairie. Years later, they had what looked like a nature preserve with paths us kids yearned to explore. Even my parents had to admit it turned out nice. 

While not everyone would want to turn their entire property into a prairie, each of us can find a corner or two to create a more natural landscape or choose native plants and trees that will attract birds and wildlife. One way to deal with the lawn dilemma is to simply have less of it. 

Wild Ones is an organization that helps those who have an interest in natural landscaping connect with each other and learn how they can create beautiful and natural landscapes, even in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Unfortunately I don't see a chapter listed in the Lake Country area, but there is a chapter in Menomonee Falls. Their website includes tours of member's properties this summer including a Hartland household. You can find good info on legal issues, choosing native plants and educational conferences.

Here is the Mission statement for Wild Ones http://www.for-wild.org/aboutsit.html:
Our Mission
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones is a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization.

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