Our lost connection to nature
The way in which we have urbanized our world has created many problems, including a broken connection between humans and nature.
Unfortunately, landscapes have been designed for humans and humans alone with the needs of other species receiving very little, to zero, consideration. The consequences of doing this include a strong disconnect from the natural world and ecosystems that sustain us.
Due to this, many people living in urban areas simply do not have access to nature in their daily lives. The closest thing to nature for many people are urban parks dominated by turf-grass and home gardens filled with exotic plants. These are simply an extension of our dominance over nature and, at least in my mind, cannot be considered accessible nature.
This disconnect from nature leads to ignorance and ignorance leads to fear of the unknown, seen in how many people are scared of insects or urban coyotes. How can we hope to protect something we fear, no matter how crucial it is to our existence?
We absolutely need to connect people to nature if we ever hope to protect it. Therefore, it's time to stop delegating conservation to only conservation areas and far away national parks(although this is still very important!). Nature belongs in your backyard too!
When people can interact with nature in their own backyards they feel more connected to it, they appreciate it, they understand it and most importantly are more likely to want to protect it. This is ESPECIALLY important for children who, as the cliche goes, are the future!
Gardens designed for looks alone are wasted potential. When we design our landscapes to support wildlife, with the native plants they need to thrive, our gardens become so much more than just curb appeal. They become tools for conservation, education, connection and tools to create a more compassionate society where we consider the needs of other species.
Why would we garden any other way?