West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 18

In the Community
Weed WrANGLING in
the Wyomissing Park
(and Your Back Yard)
by Lucy J. Cairns, MD
E
njoyment of all that the
Wyomissing Park has to offer
has contributed greatly to my
attachment to this community over
the 20+ years that I have lived here.
I
have spent countless hours on its trails,
benefiting from physical activity while
drinking in the beauty of the creek, the
meadows, the wooded areas, and the
wild creatures who share the park with
us - especially the birds. In recent years
93 different species of birds have been
observed in the Wyomissing Park by
birders like myself.
The diminutive Blue-gray gnatcatcher,
the brilliant orange Baltimore Oriole,
the sweet-voiced Eastern Bluebird, the
statue-still Great Blue Heron, and even
the occasional Bald Eagle are among the
birds that find food and shelter in our
park. Bird populations overall are on
a steep decline, however, in large part
due to human activity. In September
of 2019, researchers from the U.S. and
Canada reported data showing a loss of
3 billion birds from our continent since
1970 - almost 30% of the total.
The reasons for this ongoing loss of
birds are multiple and not completely
understood, but habitat loss, which
includes loss of the plants that support
birdlife, is one of the big ones. The
good news is that some types of birds
- certain raptors and waterfowl - have
been thriving as a direct result of human
conservation efforts. We have it in our
power to stop this slide to extinction,
and doing so is both a moral imperative
and very much in the interests of our
own survival. Why care about birds if
you are not a birder? As Doug Tallamy
points out in his latest book, Nature's
Best Hope, the ecosystems that support
birds are the same as those that support
human life. They are truly the canary
in the ecological 'coal mine.'
At this point, you may be asking what the
decline of birdlife has to do with 'weeds'
in the Wyomissing Park. The answer is
laid out in detail in Doug Tallamy's first
book, Bringing Nature Home. (Professor
Tallamy is with the Department of
Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at
the University of Delaware.)
It goes like this: Plants are the foundation
of the food web. It is the plants present
in an area that determine the numbers
and diversity of animals that thrive
there, from insects on up. Without
plants capturing energy from sunlight
and transforming that energy into food
- especially food for insects - life on
earth would cease to exist.
Plants fill the Wyomissing Park and our
yards, but the problem we humans face
now is that too many of the plants we
have chosen to use in our yards and
allow to flourish in our parks do a very
poor job feeding our native insects and
other creatures.
16 Avenues Winter 2021-22

West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22

West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 1
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 2
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 3
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 4
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 5
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 6
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 7
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 8
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 9
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 10
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 11
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 12
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 13
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 14
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 15
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 16
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 17
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 18
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 19
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 20
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 21
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 22
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 23
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 24
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 25
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 26
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 27
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 28
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 29
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 30
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 31
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 32
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 33
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 34
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 35
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 36
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 37
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 38
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 39
West Reading Avenues Winter 2021-22 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2021-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2020-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WRASpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesDecember2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesNovember18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSeptember2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesJune2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2017-2
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesWinter2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenuesFall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/WestReadingAvenues/WestReadingAvenues
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com