We live in a patchwork landscape, mostly developed with rights of way and homes and buildings. Nature is compressed within the remaining spaces.
But these patches, our yards, will play a significant role in bringing back Westchester County and the region’s unique natural history and biodiversity. What has been a hidden private space for grass and rose bushes, which, while beautiful, has little ecological value, is being reawakened by a new movement to restore yards—more than 60 million acres across the nation—into native habitat.
Plan it Wild, a sustainable landscaping company that is leading the rewilding front by transforming residential and commercial land into beautiful mini-ecosystems, is proud to announce a new science initiative called Proof of Life. The first-ever biodiversity measurement tool to qualify and quantify the environmental impact of restored suburban landscapes, including your lawn, the tool is based on the hypothesis that by choosing to rewild, a homeowner can significantly increase the biodiversity and environmental benefits of their own land and community too.
The science pilot will formulate a rating or score based on existing and original science that is representative of the biodiversity of your yard. With the score, we will issue a set of recommendations for increasing your score, hence boosting the sustainability and value of your home and community.
To pilot this initiative, we’ve forged a unique partnership with Aspetuck Land Trust in Fairfield County, CT. Historically, Land Trusts and landscapers have focused on different things, the former on protecting large tracts of wild land and the latter on lawn maintenance. But Westchester and Fairfield Counties are landscapes composed of tiles of nature in yards, campuses, parks, warehouse spaces. Because of this, Aspetuck Land Trust created a Homeowner’s program focused on the rewilding of lawns as a primary part of their 40,000-acre Green Corridor. Needing an ecological landscaper, a novel partnership was formed, bringing together a land trust, a sustainable landscaping company, and science to advance the rewilding of yards.
Over the next year, working with you, our clients and members who have committed to making their properties more ecologically rich, we will use a set of native habitat designs we call “Terra Patches”. These designs were created to restore patch by patch your yard over time (see images of our unique Mini-Forests and native grasslands!). In these terra patches a team of scientists and students will collect data on biodiversity, carbon capture, and stormwater absorption. We will also develop an assessment methodology that is easy-to-use so you can become your land’s own citizen scientist.
Terra patches are 10’ x 10’ native plant kits that have been carefully curated to bring back maximum habitat and beauty. Each patch is a self contained micro-engine for biodiversity and a great way to get started on a rewilding journey.
Plan it Wild wants to nurture the rewilder and citizen scientist each of us to help renew Westchester’s yards to ecological health.
Are you ready to rewild your yard, to help us pilot new science, and to get your score? Join us at PlanitWild.com
Bram Gunther, VP of Science and Strategy at Plan it Wild