Douglas W. Tallamy, an ecologist at the University of Delaware, encourages us to do better and help regenerate biodiversity by planting more natives.

And that means replacing some of our lawn.

In his 2020 book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard,” he challenged readers to help create what he calls a Homegrown National Park. His proposal: that a network of individual efforts can add up, and will help to offset the fragmentation of the greater landscape.

Now, in an online Homegrown National Park campaign, participants can commit their land to the movement by joining an interactive map and displaying a sign that tells neighbors what they are doing.

It’s time, Dr. Tallamy said, to “bring the private landowner back into a critically important position in the future of conservation.”

May 2021 legislation passed in Maryland that prohibits rules forbidding “low-impact landscaping,” such as habitat-style, pollinator or rain gardens.

“The era of HOA overreaching is ending,” he said.

He suggested two approaches to help accelerate that change. Join the active management of the association, and educate from within, or set an example by rethinking your front landscape: Leave some lawn, but add native plantings.

“Make those changes in an aesthetically pleasing way,” Dr. Tallamy advised. “The lawn you keep along the edge of your driveway or sidewalk — again, a cue for care — should be manicured and mowed regularly. That shows that whatever is beyond that mowed strip is an intentionally designed landscape. Typically, HOAs don’t object to that.”

As for tick worries, creating more native habitat has a benefit there, too.

“Our simplified landscapes are not only poor at producing ecosystem services like supporting local food webs, managing watersheds, nourishing pollinators and sequestering carbon,” he said. “They also do not provide habitat for the animals that decrease tick infectivity, because they are dead-end hosts for Lyme disease,” and play no role in the disease-transmission cycle.

lists such organizations in each American state and Canadian province.

Another nonprofit membership group to join and learn from is Wild Ones, with chapters in 27 states.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation provides regional plant lists and sources for native seed and plants in various regions.

Audubon and National Wildlife Federation have ZIP code-based native plant search tools, as well as online shopping.

A Way to Garden, and a book of the same name.

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