As we step into our second decade, the biodiversity and climate change crises make Grow Native’s mission more important than ever. The focus ahead is on sustaining what we’ve built while strengthening our programs for the future. To lead us in this next chapter, we are thrilled that Heather Pruiksma joined us in February as our new executive director.
We have also launched the Sustainable Growth Fund to help fund our future. We know there are so many of you seeking the information needed to re-establish native plant landscapes at home and in your community. Thank you for your shared belief in our mission! We are eager to sustain and grow our programs for years to come, to support your projects as we do this work together.
Gray birch (Betula populifolia) is an underutilized tree with a lot of potential for greater use in managed landscapes. A beautiful tree that is well-adapted to urban and suburban landscapes, it also has significant wildlife value as a host plant for Lepidoptera and as a source of seed and nesting sites for migrating birds. A common sight along roadsides, gray birch is a fast-growing pioneer species that will thrive in sunny, dry sites and in poor soil.
There are a growing number of ambitious tree planting initiatives being undertaken by public and private entities with the goal of increasing carbon sequestration. As reported in the New York Times, while reforestation efforts are one important strategy for fighting climate change, too many of these operations are installing plantations of non-native tree species, with significant negative impacts on biodiversity. This and other decisions that disregard local ecology result in plantings that, in some cases, can actually increase carbon emissions.
To chart a better path forward, conservationists from around the world came together to advance “Ten Golden Rules for Reforestation,” that can be used to create long-term strategies that tackle both the climate change and biodiversity crises. Whether you are seeking to reforest your urban tree canopy, a small suburban lot, or a much larger landscape, always remember that what you plant matters!
From One of Our Country's Preeminent Landscape Architects.
Both biographical and inspirational, Morrison reflects on how “the wild” has informed his work as a landscape architect over more than six decades, as he worked in unique environments across the country. Morrison's subtle understanding of both ecology and design has much to teach us.