Big Plans, Small Steps

My gardening eyes tend to be much too big for my gardening stomach. I'm learning to take smaller bites, but it's taken a while.

Last week, I attended a class at the Morton Arboretum led by The Conservation Foundation, which is a local nonprofit dedicated to land and watershed conservation and environmental stewardship. This particular class was focused on going more native and natural in the yard, but the foundation also partners with many local suburban municipalities and park districts to help them transition landscapes into friendlier places for birds, bees, butterflies, and the planet in general.

Truthfully, I didn't need to be persuaded on that point. I've never used herbicides or pesticides in the 15 years I've lived in my home, and I've been ready, willing and able to transition more of my landscape from grass to native species for a while. What I needed was ideas. And I got plenty of ideas.

Which is why it was so timely when the DuPage Forest Preserve District posted a reminder on Facebook that it was time to preorder plants from their annual plant sale.

That's when my gardening eyes grew very big. Just like when the seed catalogs start arriving for the vegetable garden, I started making a list. And then the list got really long. And then I had to go back and make the list much, much shorter. More reasonable. Do-able.

The conversion of my yard from what it is now to some future state is a long-term project. I imagine it as a 10-year plan, but I only ever really think about what I'll do this year, and maybe next year. So far, my 10-year plan is just getting off the ground. And that's OK. Life happens. Work happens. And I can't spend every waking minute on the garden(s).

Maybe you have similar plans in place at your facility or organization. Plans to go greener. Plans to plant more native species. Plans to expand what you do and how you do it.

This month, we have plenty of ideas to help you carry those plans forward, whether you want to provide more adventure or you need ideas about conservation or you just need a better handle on how to manage your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lists of tasks for the aquatic facility.

Whatever your plan is, remember: one small step and another small step. Every step forward puts you a little bit closer to your goal than you were before.

Happy Spring!

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]