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Native Landscape Expert Shares Tips For an Eco-friendly Yard

In Celebration of Earth Day 2015 April 22
by Eva Dilmanian
March 22, 2015

To celebrate Earth Day 2015 (Wednesday, April 22), environmental horticulturist Kim Eierman is offering her Top 20 Ways to Create an EcoBeneficial Landscape. Eierman, who is also a native plant expert, an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional, a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist, will be travelling the Northeast U.S. this Spring to speak at a series events and seminars, encouraging homeowners and landscape pros to make their yards more ecologically beneficial.

"There are many simple things Americans can do in their own yards to significantly increase the health of their ecosystem - from reducing the size of their lawns to utilizing regional native plants that are critical for supporting our challenged bees, butterflies, birds and more," said Eierman. "My campaign is to increase awareness of gardening practices that boost the health of the environment around us - which humans depend upon, too."

Sample of the Top 20 Ways to Create an EcoBeneficial Landscape

- Reduce or eliminate the "Green Desert" (turf/lawn). It is an ecological wasteland.

- Avoid synthetic pesticides. Rachel Carson warned about them 50 years ago in Silent Spring.

- Limit the use of organic pesticides. Organic does not mean "benign." Use only when absolutely necessary, and then, sparingly and carefully.

- Support beneficial insects, nature's pest control, by planting a diversity of native plants to support them.

- Plant more native plants to support your local ecosystem. Native plants have co-evolved with each other and with the wildlife around them.

- Limit exotic (non-native) plants and know their limitations. They will not provide the same depth of ecological services as native plants.

- Encourage biodiversity by planting diversely. Bio-diverse ecosystems are more resilient to pests, diseases and climate change.

- Avoid double-flowered plants. They often have less nectar, pollen, and seed than single-flowered plants.

- Emulate healthy local natural areas in your garden. Use nature as your reference for design and plant selection.

- When choosing plants, find the beauty in ecological function. As Mom said, physical beauty is only skin deep.

For the complete list of Top 20 Ways to Create an EcoBeneficial Landscape, please visit . For more information on Kim Eierman, visit .

Kim Eierman is the Founder of EcoBeneficial! a horticulture communications and consulting company. Eierman teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center, et al. She is an active speaker on many ecological gardening topics, presenting at industry conferences, garden clubs, nature centers and more. A Certified Horticulturist through the American Society for Horticultural Science, Eierman is also a Master Gardener, a Master Naturalist, an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional and a Steering Committee member of The Native Plant Center. She received a 2014 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association.

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