A Midwestern Manifesto


1. Plant only plants native to one’s region. In the Midwest there is Prairie, Savanna, Woodland, and Wetland, all with its own community of plants.

2. Get rid of unnecessary lawn and plant your property with deep-rooted native plants. 3. Plant native trees and shrubs to attract native insects and birds.

4. Save the rain: Plant rain gardens to infiltrate rainwater from the roof, capture rainwater in a rain barrel, and/or plant a green roof.

5. Treat water as an asset, not something to get rid of as quickly as possible. Use water in a beautiful way in waterfalls, fountains, pools, or streams.

6. Use some type of porous pavers, flagstone, or gravel for paths, terraces, and driveways that will allow rain to be infiltrated into the earth.

7. Situate porches, terraces, or decks at every doorway to integrate the inside of the house with the outside.

8. Install a screened in porch and sleeping porch for natural air-conditioning. 9. Plant a pleasing view outside every door and window.

10. Integrate your back yard with your neighbors’ to create a parklike situation and provide a corridor through which animals can travel.

11. Add a fire circle or a Jens Jensen council ring to your back yard for a gathering place and as a symbol of unity and equality.

12. Plant a vegetable garden and freeze or can the bounty.

13. Shade the SE, SW, and West side of your house with native shade trees for natural cooling.

14. Shade your sidewalk and the street with large shade trees to eliminate heat build- up.

15. Become familiar with the natural areas and native plants of your region.

c. Patricia Hill 2012

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