"If one advances in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Heeding Henry David Thoreau's "Walden Pond" wisdom, I responded to the escalating trajectory of disappearing insects which forebodes catastrophic ecological dysfunction. Beginning about a decade ago I began to transform my eco-destructed chemically-contaminated side and backyard mono-cultured grass lawn into an eco-healthy, bio-diverse native prairie garden. 

I was told by cynics that my "on a wing and a prayer" method of simply not mowing backyard grass throughout the grown season while daily foraging and sowing native prairie seeds in absurd abundance would never work. Never mind cynics who thrive on negativity; my method, albeit unorthodox, has worked wonders in my yard, once again providing that our good lord still works miracles! 

Thus, I advance "in the direction of my dreams...with success unexpected...." This summer Mother Nature gifted me with a wonderful backyard and native prairie garden. Indeed a working "insect farm" to propagate eco-essential pollinators to help underwrite a bumblebee and butterfly future for our next generation of children.

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However, one backyard prairie garden does not make a healthy ecosystem, nor will it propagate enough eco-essential pollinators to replenish disappearing insect biomass throughout America. Hopefully, my native prairie garden will serve was working model for Decatur that eventually spreads across our entire "Prairie state." Indeed, let's transform our collective massive acres of eco-destructive grass lawns into massive acres of eco-healthy backyard native prairie gardens to help resuscitate damaged ecosystems. 

Decatur's City Council has an historic opportunity to advance in a positive direction by writing a common sense neighborhood ordinance that will enthusiastically encourage, not just grudgingly tolerate, an environment idea whose time has come. If not now, when? If not Decatur, who? 

Don Carmichael, Decatur

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