Questions for ‘Making yards more diverse can reap big environmental benefits’

a photo of a a lawn full of colorful lupine and other tall and colorful wildflowers.

Yards don’t have to be big, flat expanses of grass. This one in Maine is filled with a variety of wildflowers.

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To accompany ‘Making yards more diverse can have reap environmental benefits


Before Reading:

  1. When you read the word “yard,” what do you picture? What kinds of plants might you find in a yard? What kinds of animals?
  2.  Are there any plants or animals found in wild parts of a region that you would not expect to find in a yard?

During Reading:

  1. Where did the lawns of today originally come from? Why is it difficult to maintain these types of lawns in other parts of the world?
  2.  What are some of the things that people today do to maintain their lawns? How does that maintenance impact the environment?
  3. How much water do people in the United States use daily to maintain lawns?
  4. What are some potential benefits of adding plants that are typically considered “weeds” to a yard?
  5. How did Sheryl Hosler use cucumbers to measure bees’ effectiveness at pollinating plants in Chicago yards? What did that research show?
  6. Name two examples of pests that could be better controlled in yards with more diverse ecosystems.
  7. What benefits, besides pest control, could more diverse yards offer to people?
  8. What does the American Academy of Pediatrics say about the potential health harms of pesticides?

After Reading:

  1. This story suggests a few ways that people can make yards more wildlife-friendly. Think of your own yard or another green space in your community. What are a few ways you could make this area more wildlife-friendly? Your parents or other adults likely control how that space is maintained. What information could you use from this story to advocate for your suggested changes and argue why they would be beneficial?