The project of converting my front yard from turf grass with Asian shrubs to all native plants.

just say no to “rewilding”

A purple 5 gallon bucket next to a tall stand of Johnson grass.

Probably I should make it clear how strongly I oppose the notion of “rewilding”, and how we are not doing that here.

Allegedly rewilding refers to the practice of returning a land to a wilderness state. However, the way people practice it is to just leave the land alone, and do nothing.

I find this grossly irresponsible.

First of all, humans are part of nature. To extract ourselves from nature entirely is to break the loop. We do have a part to play in our natural environment.

Secondly, the land has already been violated. Invasive species from all around the planet have been brought here, to places where they have no natural predators and no real competitors. To just leave the land alone is to turn it over to them. The squirrels and the hummingbirds will not thank you for that.

Thirdly, the vast majority of North America was prairie. And prairie needs seasonal fire to thrive. By repressing fire, any fallow land eventually becomes the property of the trees. Seasonal fire not only fertilizes the ground and stratifies the seeds native to that environment, but it also kills off tree saplings that don't belong in that environment.

Since we don't tolerate seasonal fire anymore, the land can be taken over by trees as well as non-native plants, creating closed canopy forests. Once again, the native critters will not thank you for that.

Fourth, we humans live in community. Wild places right in the midst of community which are not properly tended as a community decision (such as a park or nature preserve) create conflict and unease. People who are unwillingly thrust into the midst of various forms of wildlife and creeping or thorny plants become understandably nervous about their neighbors who allow that kind of thing to happen. It's not cool.

And it's not happening here. This project is a curated horticulture project to promote the healthy life of the community. Plant, animal, and human. It's tame, not wild, and absolutely not rewild.