This is how your yard is like a park

By Mark & Ben Cullen, Toronto Star, July 28, 2020

What is the value of a caterpillar?

For humans, it’s often a negative, “ick-factor” value.

For a chickadee, the value is equivalent to over 200 aphids (which mean using a lot more energy flying back and forth to the nest). Caterpillars are the no. 1 choice, especially this time of year when young birds are feeding to beat the band.


That is, we could create Canada’s largest park if we changed just a few things about our behaviour and priorities concerning our land, trees and water. Environmental conservation is what we’re talking about here.

The conversation about conservation has shifted in recent years — among environmentalists, especially — to the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. These connections are made by American entomologist Doug Tallamy in his most recent book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard” (Timber Press, February, 2020).

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