Helping out at Home

Regardless of where you are in Westchester, whether you rent or own, your outdoor space is many acres or a window sill, there are ways to help wildlife and the natural world.

Everyone can participate in citizen science. There are dozens of projects you can do right here in Westchester!

For those with a lawn, you have an incredible opportunity to create and support habitat. It’s not hard to do. The main ideas are simple:

  • Don’t put any chemicals on your lawn or plants
  • Don’t use leaf blowers, ever (and convert mowers to electric when you can)
  • Plant native

Chemicals that kill weeds or ticks kill other things too. Even fertilizers are bad for the ecological balance you should be aiming for. We went from minimal usage to absolute zero in our yard, and saw an enormous increase in the wildlife we encountered on our little village almost-acre.

In addition to being an absurdly heavy polluter for its size–a single backpack blower for home use emits more pollutants than a 6200-pound Ford F-150–leaf blowers can destroy bird and insect homes and damage plants (even if they’re electric). Instead, mulch your leaves with your mower.

Native plants are magic! They’ve evolved right here over thousands of years, so it’s pretty easy to find ones that will thrive where you are, no matter the soil or sun. Plant them in your yard and you will make a meaningful contribution to habitat, particularly for pollinators. Rosedale Nurseries has a good native plant selection, and the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College hosts a native plant sale each year. They also offer a lot of classes on native plants and gardening.