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Leave some leaves to help nature

Before you rake up the leaves, don't forget to leave some behind to help shelter small critters and insects for the winter and to provide a natural fertilizer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Fall season is a time to tidy up the yard and prepare before the snow falls. So, when you’re raking up the leaves, think about leaving some behind as a small act of nature conservation to support backyard biodiversity. This includes providing a safe and warm haven for small critters and insects during the winter months.

The advice comes from the National Conservancy of Canada (NCC), which says backyard biodiversity is becoming increasingly important and is urging people to leave a layer or two of leaves on the ground.

Read more: Nature Conservancy of Canada acquires 307 acres near Asquith, growing conservation area to 1,343

“Our yards are part of nature and nature is part of us,” said Jensen Edwards, the NCC media relations manager. “Leaving leaves on your lawn is part of the natural process done in moderation. You don’t need giant piles but if you leave a few, some of those can decompose, return to the earth to feed the soil.”

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The NCC states that as leaves break down, they transform into natural mulch, which helps to enrich the soil and suppress weeds. So, not only does this benefit critters such as frogs, moths and butterflies for hibernation but it also returns to the earth as a natural fertilizer.

Read more: NCC wants thousands of hectares of native Saskatchewan prairie grasslands protected

“It’s just a way of connecting people to nature…. They can still help different species survive during the wintertime,” said Jensen. “Nature are these natural cycles when the leaves fall, they return to the soil and we see that any time we go to a park or out into a forest. So, why shouldn’t our yard be similar in that way?”

The NCC recommends not leaving huge piles of leaves on your lawn as this will smother and cause future damage to the lawn. It’s best to leave light layers in small sections of the lawn. Tuck some leaves in your flower beds, vegetable gardens and around the roots of trees and shrubs.

To learn more about how you can contribute to helping nature conservation, visit the NCC’s website.

Click to play video: 'Nature Conservancy of Canada Big Backyard Blitz' Nature Conservancy of Canada Big Backyard Blitz
Nature Conservancy of Canada Big Backyard Blitz – Jul 23, 2021

 

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