The climate is changing. We are responsible. It seems like the people who wield the power make any real change are busy denying, or, only slightly less worse, delaying.

The news to that effect is constant and disheartening, and I won’t blame you if you think the only reasonable solution is to not get out of bed. But at times when the global situation seems dire, and our power as individuals to change things on such a grand scale seems to have evaporated faster than South Africa’s fresh water supply, I think a healthy change of perspective is in order.

Sure, “Think globally, act locally” is a fantastic mantra, but these past few years have changed things for me. When I think globally—or even just nationally, for that matter—I quickly find my way to the third act of this charge: panic internally. To avoid turning this progressive couplet into a mentally exhausting triad, I’ve shifted the focus a bit: think locally, act locally.

There are more than enough local issues that we can address as individuals. One such issue in Tallahassee is the fragmentation and disappearance of suitable habitat for local and migratory fauna, which is coupled with the proliferation of invasive species.

My partner and I recently joined the Apalachee Audubon Society on their Wildlife Friendly Yards Tour, and saw firsthand how local Tallahassee residents are working to craft refugia for native plants and animals, strengthening Tallahassee’s biodiversity one yard at a time.

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‘Refugium’ is a biological term (borrowed by many other hard and social sciences, but who the hell cares cause it’s all art anyway) that is distinct from ‘refuge’ in that it refers to an area that supports the survival of organisms through periods of unfavorable conditions. And make no mistake, readers, we are experiencing some very anthropomorphically-driven, unfavorable conditions.

I use this term mainly to make a point, and this is my website so I get to make whatever points I want and you are free to comment. In fact, I encourage commenting, because the internet can be a scary, lonely, harsh place, and a comment here or there does my soul good.

Anyway, what I am suggesting is that not only are these homeowners doing their enviro-civic duties by cultivating more natural habitats in their yards that help local/migratory flora and fauna flourish. But more importantly, they are providing crucial support to the local environment in a time of crisis. They are fighting for the environment when our nation’s leadership and the global elite are decidedly not. As local stewards of local land, they are on the front lines of the fight for our environmental (and cultural) future.

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I want YOU!

How can you help? First off, buy this book. It’s only five bucks, and it is an amazing resource for those hoping to convert their yard into a wildlife-friendly oasis. Second, read the book. It is incredibly accessible, even for people who can’t keep fake plants alive. And best of all, there are plenty of ways to make big impacts with only small changes.

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Within a week of putting up a single bird feeder in my yard, I went from seeing the occasional cardinal to getting daily visits from sparrows, titmouses, chickadees, finches, robins, and bluebirds! Debris piles can have a similar effect, which is great because now you don’t need to worry about disposing of your yard waste!

Start small, and soon you may realize that your small actions have big impacts (and rewards, if you like looking at birds). And if you follow my trusted process, you won’t even have to deal with the crippling anxiety that comes with thinking globally!

So, I charge YOU to join the resistance. Fight the power. Put a debris pile in your yard.

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Blurry Green Anole eyeing some mealworms and jam.
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The same Green Anole, now camouflaged brown, making a break for the jam!

 

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