Recently my daughter Annie and I hunted for signs of spring at Black Creek Forest Preserve, a Scenic Hudson park. We discovered several vernal pools seasonal ponds that sustain the life of some very cool spotted salamanders, wood frogs and other amphibians. Gazing into one of them, Annie pointed to a mass of eggs hovering near the bottom, sharing her wonder with eyes wide. Later, turning over rocks and logs, she was delighted to find several of the creatures hovering in the moist earth underneath.
You don't have to visit a park to see spring emerging. Your own backyard is coming to life. This year, keep it green without resorting to chemicals. You and your family don't need the health threats. Plus, these poisons find their way into your water supplies, putting whole communities at risk. Here are some natural lawn-care tips from Westchester County's Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program.
A great natural fertilizer for your garden is compost. Although my family and I are too busy right now to be backyard farmers, we're diligent about composting to reduce the waste we send to the landfill.
Scenic Hudson colleague Rich Schiafo has brought composting to a high science. He offers these suggestions:
eggshells, coffee grounds, corn cobs, even shredded cardboard and paper.
at least every two weeks. To break down properly, it needs lots of air.
This easy, low-tech effort helps reduce global warming. By plowing compost into the garden, you are fixing carbon into green vegetation. And the less waste that's trucked away, the less greenhouse gases you produce.
Enjoy your spring and let me know what you're doing to make it green and healthy.
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