Growing up in the piedmont of North Carolina, there was a large wood behind our house. When I turned 10 - finally, finally - Dad turned me loose to travel by myself.
I spent many, many glorious hours learning and exploring. I watched plants grow, blossom, and die. I watched the light flicker through leaves. I raced with the wind blowing wildly through tree limbs. I followed ants, lizards, and copperheads.
I fell in awe. I fell in love.
In high school, the bulldozers started and left me watching my most faithful companion being torn up completely. Anger. This taught me, in my rapid growth town, to not full in love with the scenery because it was just going to fall under the chainsaws of progress.
In 2010, my husband and I installed a wildlife pond and continued to grow things that help them live better. In my need to deal with my anger, I began a gardening for wildlife group for our neighborhood. While global conservation concerns me as well, I felt that my energy would be better served by helping my neighbors learn how to enhance their yards to attract and feed the creatures who live here.
Currently, members have started a rain garden at our local elementary school. Others are involved with the restoration of a neighborhood stream in conjunction with the high school close by. We have also adopted a city park and with the City of Raleigh’s help, have implemented a pollinator garden. Over the next several years, we will add host plants, other native bird/pollinator friendly plantings, and signs with information about a particular plant.