Challenge #1: Lack of Time in
Challenge #3: Toxic Chemicals and Public Safety
Physician Diane Lewis is the founder of the Great Healthy Yard Project. Her article, "Toxic Brew in Our Backyards," (Sunday Review Opinion, New York Times, May 10, 2014) warns homeowners of the dangers of pesticides and herbicides, explaining that these toxic chemicals are unnecessary and harmful to the agricultural and landscaping workers who apply them, to homeowners and their pets, and to the insects and birds that visit the yards.
Challenge #4: Climate Change
CLIMATE CAFE AT WALTHAM HIGH SCHOOL
Research shows that frightening children with dire predictions does not engender change in their behavior or expectations. Instead, children need to feel close to nature—to develop a “compassionate concern for our natural world.” To counter children feeling separated from nature, MS4B programs bring children nose-to-nose with toads, lady bugs, grasshoppers, earthworms, butterflies, and all sorts of fascinating creatures. (Jill Suttie. How to Raise an Environmentalist. YES Magazine, posted September 24, 2016.)
Challenge #5: Invasive Species
INVASIVE PLANTS DESTROY BALANCE IN THE FOOD CHAIN
Native insects can't thrive on invasives which aggressively ravage areas of forest, fields, and other open spaces, making it difficult for native insects and plants to survive.
Examples of nasty invasives in New England are black swallowwort, Japanese knotweed, Oriental bittersweet, Multiflora rose, among hundreds of others.
Students in the YEEP Program spend many hours removing these plants. At Kennard Park in Newton, the students pulled out bittersweet roots that were as thick as a wrist and 22-ft. long. This shows that removing just the visible parts of the plants is only the first step in destroying it.