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Gardener to Guardian: How to rewild your patch of nature

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“Amid collapsing biodiversity worldwide, Mary Reynolds of Ireland is building a movement to turn gardeners into guardians of the planet by returning our own patch of land to nature, and by restoring hope that individual action can create lasting change.”

In this episode of HHMI Tangled Bank Studio‘s Wild Hope series on Nature on PBS, Mary Reynolds shares the simple yet powerful actions that can create “an ARK” within your corner of the natural world, a rewilding initiative that stands for Acts of Restorative Kindness.

rewilded garden: this is an ark
By removing invasive species and restoring native plants, native insects, birds, and animals are provided a healthy habitat where they can find food, water, shelter, and space.

Reynolds also visits with both new and long-practicing preservationists who, through rewilding their land, are fostering a biodiverse community of native plants and animals, including foxes, hares, hedgehogs, frogs, otters, red squirrels, pine martens, badgers, deer, bees, butterflies, woodpeckers, and more.

wild fox
And the movement is growing as Reynolds’ mission reaches people who “want to rid themselves of the pristine expectations that gardens demand, and bring in more life” to their spaces around the globe.

“It’s even taking root with younger generations. A visit to the Loreto school in Wexford County proves how even a small patch of land can not only restore a native community of plants, but also become a safe haven for students. ‘Patch by patch, we’ll get there,’ Mary assures. ‘Make a patchwork quilt of hope.’”

a rewilded school ark
Find more at And follow Mary Reynolds on Instagram, Facebook, and at

Related action: Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park, another “collective effort of individual homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and anyone with some soil to plant in…to start a new habitat by planting native plants and removing most invasive plants.”

a rewilded ark in maryland
Then learn more about rewilding, conservation, ecology, and biodiversity on TKSST, including:
β€’ What Is Rewilding?
β€’Β Why do we need biodiversity?
β€’Β What are invasive species?
β€’Β β€œI Built a Wildlife Pond – here’s what happened.”
β€’ Beatrix Potter’s Lake District
β€’Β Why do we need insects? And how can we protect them?
β€’Β Wangari Maathai – β€œI will be a hummingbird”
β€’ Chief Oshkosh and a history of Menominee Forest conservation

Bonus: Brendon Grimshaw, an 86-year-old real-life Robinson Crusoe, and his Moyenne Island.

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