Updated: Jan 31
The importance of native plantings for local wildlife.
There are many advantages to incorporating native plant life into your garden or outdoor space, but one of the most valuable is the positive impact this action could have on wildlife in your area.
“Planting native species in our gardens and communities is increasingly important, because indigenous insects, birds and wildlife rely on them. Over thousands, and sometimes millions, of years they have co-evolved to live in local climate and soil conditions.
- David Suzuki
There is a notion of ease that accompanies native planting, and the contribution to wildlife is no different in this regard. Planting particular native plants is an efficient and manageable way for each person to contribute to combating recent losses in biodiversity. The food chain depends so heavily on the little guys at the bottom, the smears on road trip windows. By boosting insect populations you can increase the food supply available for the next strata of wildlife and at the same time help supply your locale with plenty of pollinators.
The insect's plight
Let's be honest, insects can be pretty gross. There is a seemingly instinctual response triggered in the base of our spines at times when we see them crawling, impossibly tiny legs moving at impossible speeds. Antennae probing out into the air and blank collections of eyes you can get lost in. It is easy to settle for a knee jerk reaction. Every way they buzz and brush against us can evoke such a confident response, repulsion.
Repulsion can have its place. Conditioned taste version would be an example. Our minds have a remarkable ability of triggering strong sensations of nausea when we look at or consider eating a food that has made us sick in the past. This can keep us from repeatedly eating things that make us sick and potentially save our lives, but it can also, for no good reason, ruin dishes that we used to love. Beyond just food, instinctual repulsion can make us scared or hateful of people we hardly know, for almost no reason other than the hairs standing on the back of our necks.
Luckily, many of our parents and teachers can provide the guidance to help prevent these repulsive tendencies. We are taught about other cultures in school and reminded of the ways that differences can draw us together instead of divide us. In the same way, learning about the native insects in your area, and the role they play in maintaining this grand experiment, can help alleviate some of this natural repulsion and help instill a sense of appreciation for the massive positive impact even the tiniest of creatures can provide.