Lawns to Ladybugs
NCP support for schools and congregations to turn their lawns into habitat for vanishing insect species
No more bugs! (a good thing, right?)
While our culture generally gives “bugs” a bad connotation, in actuality we can’t live (or die) without them. They pollinate about a third of our fruits and vegetables, consume other “pests” (yes, ladybugs do this!), provide food sources for songbirds and croaking toads, and “recycle” roadkill and compost.
One colloquial indicator of the loss of up to 80 percent of non-pest insects in the ecosystem over the past several decades relates to car windshield and headlights being plastered—or not—with bugs during nighttime driving. While this once was the case in rural areas, no more. Where did they go? Monoculture, loss of woodlands, light pollution, pesticides. And of course climate change, as we’re losing bugs even in remote places (Greenland) where those other things don’t apply.
One of the main culprits for habitat loss is our penchant for lawns (don’t worry, friends in the desert Southwest—we have you covered below). These closely cropped expanses of monoculture grass occupy 40 million acres in the USA, requiring 9 billion gallons of irrigation water per day, and creating about 10 pounds of CO2 per hour to mow.
What to do?!
One “home remedy” for the disappearance of insects is to turn our lawns into habitat, saving time, money, carbon—and bugs!
By way of encouragement, NCP is going out on a limb to offer a $250 grant from our If a Tree Falls… fund to the first 10 congregations or schools that come up with a plan to turn some of their lawn (or desert landscape, in the Southwest) into insect habitat as a way of reducing greenhouse gases from mowing (in temperate zones), and to give bugs and birds a place to call home. Send us your plan—we’ll send you the money!