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Simple Acts to Make a Difference in Climate Change AUTUMN CHORES

1 Oct 2022 10:30 AM | Megan Shellman-Rickard (Administrator)

As we build upon our SIMPLE ACTS in ways that each & every member of NFBPWC can make a difference in tackling Climate Change, here’s an easy one:  


By leaving your yard & garden & even your planter boxes a little messy & wild, LEAVING LEAVES, dead flower stems, small brush piles, fallen branches & flower heads, you are providing winter habitat for native invertebrates & pollinators.
Moderation is the key.  You don’t need to allow the leaves to pile up on your lawn, but don’t mow them with a mower as many insects & their eggs are living among the leaves.  Rake leaves onto garden beds & around the base of trees & shrubs and onto bare soil.  Many invertebrates overwinter in leaves a couple of inches thick.  (Avoid Spring clean-up until late in the season to allow for invertebrates to emerge from overwintering.)

Some examples of Invertebrates and their winter habitats (

*Luna Moths & Swallowtail Butterflies blend in with real leaves by disguising their cocoons & chrysalises as dried leaves and crawling into seed pods to overwinter.

*Tucked into leaf piles to protect themselves from cold & predators are Spangled Fritillary & Wooly Bear Caterpillars.

*Brush piles & cavities in the soil provide winter cover for mated Queen Bumblebees.  An extra layer of leaves is extra protection for these endangered Bumblebees.

*Leafcutters & Mason Bees & 30% of Native Bees are tunnel nesting invertebrates.  Dead wood & hollow stems & brush piles provide solitary-nesting spaces for these species to overwinter.

By simply doing nothing, leaving the leaves & not tidying- leaving habitats for the Winter & early Spring, you are providing safe overwintering spaces for invertebrates & pollinators.

By: Marikay Shellman, Chair, NFBPWC Environment and Sustainable Development Committee (2022-2024)

Every member of the ESD Committee contributed to this article for our magazine:  Sue Oser, Daneene Monroe Rusnak, Megan Shellman Rickard & Laurie Dameron

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