Plant by plant, garden by garden, the planting continues. In their first year, they added new garden beds, held work days, swapped plants, and transplanted. They built gardens, and friendships too. “I’ve had such great conversations with my neighbors this summer about the hummingbirds we’ve seen. When our evening primroses bloom this year, I hope we’ll get to chat about hawkmoths and other night pollinators.”
Pam and her neighbors took on a long-term project together, and it requires perseverance. “With so few examples of alternative lawns out, it’s hard to envision a different aesthetic.” Making changes on a neighborhood level means understanding and balancing many different perspectives on what a beautiful, sustainable yard looks like.
Fortunately, this community had shared values that helped them make progress - including making their yards attractive to wildlife. They continue to make plans for improving their garden season by season. Plus, they aren’t just making their neighborhood better for birds and pollinators - they’re making it better for people too.
“An unexpected benefit of this effort is that I feel like our block is a better place to live, even before we’ve made any real native planting inroads. I know all of my neighbors now and I feel much more connected than I have in a long time.”