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Why garden with prairie wildflowers?

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 11:09 a.m. CDT

To the editor:

From pioneer times up to now, the Midwest’s prairie landscape has been dramatically altered. Prairie wildflowers and the life forms dependent upon those plants have been annihilated across large swaths.

Modern farming and urban sprawl have accelerated this destruction in the last forty years.

In destroying native life habitat the scaffolds holding up our very own health are being battered down. What is the connection? Our own human needs on this planet are locked into a world dependent on living biodiversity.

The nutrient cycle enabling our food crops is founded on other living organisms. The oxygen we breathe comes from the photosynthesis process of plants. Insects play crucial roles in the vitality of the plant life as well as in the part of the nutrient cycle that creates topsoil. Our destruction of nature is boomeranging right back at us.

We could continue to exploit the planet surface without regard for other life forms. We could do this and we could yet live to a ripe old age. However, future generations will be harmed.

We should act to improve the future, not diminish that future. Committing to an ethic of conservation and stewardship is our responsibility. Therefore, take action. One way is by planting prairie wildflowers on your property.

There is a second aspect to ponder about. This question arises for those who believe in a God.

Prairie life forms and nature itself was created by God. Thus, shouldn’t we have a reverence for all prairie species that God made? Yes.

Preserving native prairie life shows honor to God. Again, one way is by planting prairie wildflowers on your property.

John Clayton

Grinnell

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