[LMB] [OT] Barrayaran Terraforming - an example

Kathy Collett kcollett at hamilton.edu
Sat Dec 11 01:22:34 GMT 2021

On Dec 10, 2021, at 2:36 AM, Richard G. Molpus <rgmolpus at flash.net> wrote:
> I ran across this video about a reclamation project in the Pacific Northwest. The effort is to remove non-native invasive plants and replace them with native species.
> This is close to what Barrayaran's do when they terraform an area - the effort is about the same.

Cool!  We’re trying to do something similar — replacing non-native invasive plants with native species — on our own 3 acres, but not in such a wholesale way.  I and several other local people got interested in making our yards more biodiverse and friendlier to wildlife (including bees, butterflies, and birds), and have formed a local chapter of Wild Ones (https://wildones.org/about/ <https://wildones.org/about/>), Mohawk Valley Lawns Gone Wild.

Wild Ones is a national organization which "promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities"; the Central NY chapter (https://www.hgcny.org <https://www.hgcny.org/>) has a lot of resources, including the excellent free discussion course, Caring for Our Piece of the Earth, that we all took together this past winter and spring (https://www.hgcny.org/projects/course/ <https://www.hgcny.org/projects/course/>).  One of the exciting ideas coming out of this is the “homegrown national park” — https://homegrownnationalpark.org <https://homegrownnationalpark.org/> — "a collective effort of individual homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and anyone with some soil to plant in…to start a new habitat by planting native plants and removing most invasive plants” —basically making a spread-out national park out of millions of people’s lawns, gardens, yards, and windowboxes.

Unlike Barrayaran terraforming, though, we don’t have to replace everything; in fact I’ve been surprised and pleased at how many native trees and other plants we already have (including oak, butternut, elm, ash, native dogwoods, sugar maple, staghorn sumac, white spruce, black cherry, white cedar, linden, milkweed, daisy fleabane, New England aster).  Still plenty of invasives to replace, mainly honeysuckle and buckthorn.


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