The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

Saving Birds Bees Butterflies One Yard at a Time

Who visits your yard?

Earth Day is every day for those of us who love citizen science and keep looking for what we can do to save birds and bees and butterflies and worms and other little beings that share our world.Here are 6 + 1 things I’ve been doing with my own yard that you can consider doing, too.

  1. Learn more about which plants grow well where you live–and provide nourishment for our little friends. It’s fun to learn more about native plants.(Camas is native to the Northwest.)
  2. You can probably get rid of plant bullies without resorting to chemicals. I did. But I had to really get after some of those roots–and be persistent. (Himalayan blackberry roots are monsters!)
  3. Learn a few simple things that bees need. Track which of your flowers are visited by different bees. Provide a safe way for them to get water without drowning.
  4. Birds like to have tall trees, medium trees, small trees and bushes in a yard. (Birds visit me in all seasons.)
  5. You can control pests without chemicals. When I found aphids on my artichoke leaves, I was patient…and ladybugs showed up and cleaned the plant: no problem!
  6. Make your own pollinator rocks.

    You might be surprised at all the pollinators that visit your yard. 

    Watch them. Learn their habits. See what you can do to make their lives easier. Don’t poison them.


7. And of course…a bonus tip. You knew it was coming, right?

READ! That’s how I learned how to create compost (which led to my book What Do They Do With All That Poo?). That’s how I learned about citizen science and monarch butterflies when I was writing my books for Lanie, American Girl Doll of the Year–and later created Planet Jupiter, inspired partly by memories of reading The Secret Garden.

Reading opens our minds and hearts and helps us stay curious. Use your yard power!



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