Beyond LELE - Expanding Climate Smart Yard Care Practices

LELE yard sign
New! 2019 edition of yard sign available in LELE Toolkit

Since the 2012 introduction and gradual adoption of Love 'Em and Leave 'Em yard care practices, a greater awareness of the environmental impacts of landscape practices has developing among residents of our towns and villages - especially a growing desire to locally address impacts of climate change on flora and fauna.

A 'climate smart' approach to lawn care, for example, supports and encourages using the full range of leaf management techniques as outlined within this site:
  • Rake whole leaves into wooded margins of yard (allowing important insects and small creatures a warm spot to overwinter).
  • Rake some leaves and branches into a scrub pile (providing winter cover for birds and small animals).
  • Mulch mow remaining leaves on the lawn (leaving in place for "free" fertilization).
  • Mulch mow leaves on hardscape, then use as mulch on landscape beds.

These practices provide a chemical-free enhancement of your landscape, as well as providing a mix of habitats for overwintering of fauna. In addition, as a homeowner, you can begin planting a mix of native plants in conjunction with thoughtful reduction of your mono-cultural "desert" of lawn areas.

Finally, for the health of the environment and children as well as ourselves, please adopt battery-operated electric yard tools such as leaf blower, mulching lawn mower, weed whacker, hedge trimmer. If you use professional landscapers for your lawn care, please update your annual contract to require both LELE practices and use of emission-free battery-electric yard tools.

Here are some additional articles and videos that might be of interest:

Put down that rake and leave your leaves in place! Kim Eierman joins the Garden Conservancy to explore the many benefits of leaving leaves alone, especially in regards to overwintering insects and animals.
Watch video on YouTube.

Learn more about groups supporting the Pollinator Pathway Project, including links to local organizations and towns/villages. Read an earlier newsletter here. 

From Save The Sound organization comes a short, but great intro to LELE.
Leaves... nuisance or benefit? It's all in how you approach it.