Grass lawns have become a mainstay of American neighborhoods. We pressure each other to keep our yards perfectly mowed and green. But traditional grass lawns are often ecological disasters, frequently requiring dangerous chemicals and pesticides to maintain.

Grass yards require lots of water and are deadly to essential insects and other animals that help keep nature in balance. Pollinators—species like butterflies, bees, moths, hummingbirds and other birds, beetles and bats—rely on a diverse mix of native plants to survive and thrive. As a result of overdevelopment, pollution and habitat destruction, we’re facing a dramatic decrease in pollinator populations worldwide, a fact that threatens our food supply and many other vital services. Scientists estimate that three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35% of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce. That’s about one out of every three bites of food we eat that exists because of animal pollinators. The good news is that we can all play a part in reversing the downward trend by lending a helping hand to our pollinator friends right in our own backyards. Efforts as simple as planting a window box with native plants make a difference. If you have a yard to work with—even a small patch—converting that grass to native flowers and plants is a great way to restore balance to your local ecosystem. Native gardening is good for our air, our water, wildlife and us! Once established, native plants save time and money by reducing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, water and lawn maintenance equipment. It’s a win-win for people and nature!

Challenge:  Convert some of your grass to Native Pollinator plants.  You will enjoy the color and email 

We Rotarians can make a big difference together doing easy and difficult things.  Many times doing less is doing more for the environment!  Please raise awareness by sharing the monthly idea on your club’s web site, newsletter, social media and announcements at meetings.  This is service above self!