Some scientists believe the universe is expanding. Could be, but planet Earth itself isn't getting any bigger. Meaning.... the land we've got is all we've got. But the good news is that the way things are isn't necessarily the way they have to be. An unused piece of school yard can be turned into a garden. A dried up creek can be brought back to life again.
People + imagination + energy = new uses for land.
Got some land in your neighborhood, or your own back yard that you'd like to see transformed? Let's talk about RESTORATION ECOLOGY.
Why are we screwing up ecosystems?
People all over the world have carelessly destroyed precious lands for centuries. Why? Because of:
- Expansion ("Our country must be larger.")
- Industrialization ("We need a factory on this river.")
- Money ("Let's cut down the trees, build houses, and sell 'em!")
- Ignorance about the importance of a variety of ecosystems. ("Why the heck does anyone need 400 species of frogs?")
Don't just preserve it. Bring it back to life!
Traditionally, conservation groups raise money to buy land and preserve it from development. But more and more, environmentalists are getting involved in a new science called restoration ecology. The idea is to reverse the damage in a particular ecosystem and save the land as well as the plant and animal species that live there. This isn't easy since interactions between plants, animals, and land are really complex.
You bet! And often we can see pretty dramatic results in a relatively short time.
Nature is always changing. Once an area is returned to its original condition it can't be locked up in a museum and preserved forever. It'll be constantly changing because of natural and human-related forces. So when people make positive changes to the environment, they have to keep watch over what they've done to make sure that whatever forces were responsible for screwing things up in the first place are outweighed by people who care.
Now is a great time to get involved in your environment. (If not now when?)
Look around your community.
See any vacant lots cluttered with garbage? Overgrown yards? How about your local creek or park? Is there a pond, woods, or shoreline that's been neglected or abused by people? What could you do to make a difference in that place? What would it take to for you to actually do it? How much could you accomplish for the environment in the next couple of months? Up for the challenge...
These groups are actively involved in helping the land.
Contact any one of these organizations and get involved too!
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last updated January 5, 2005
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