Little steps can make a big difference in our environment [Letter]

January 13, 2014

With so many people interested in eating locally, buying locally, and creating a more sustainable environment, your recent article was very timely ("Resolve to add native plants in 2014," Jan. 9).

The insights may be ideas many have heard before, but the reminder to focus on buying what is native, grows well in this zone and promises maximum benefit to the insects and animals that delight our days could not have come at a better time.

We need more of these local writings helping guide our garden planning and buying patterns and pointing to the ways each of us affects quality of life issues. Providing some water, planting shrubs and trees that bear fruit, and creating dense shrubs to protect birds on frigid winter days is not that hard to do; planting more appropriately seems the best way to create wildlife sanctuaries in our own backyards.

I plan to share this with my neighbors and encourage more of them to think before they plant and to take the next step of making their yards a certified wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. These certified backyards provide the four basic habitat elements needed for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young.

Planting right is integral to these goals. As I've watched stately tall oaks in my neighborhood be pulled down to make way for oversized houses, I know what I have do to. Please let's see more of these reminders of little steps that make a big difference in our yards, our communities and our region.

Anita Nowery Durel, Baltimore

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