The hopeful aspect of nature is that she is an incessant force of growth, decay, and growth. Sometimes we destroy areas so completely that nothing grows there naturally. Sometimes we heavily pollute areas with chemicals, trash, and various non-natural substances. These factors can be too much for nature, by herself, to overcome. With determined campaigns of clean up and regenerative practices, we can turn back the clock and make these places nice and livable again.
Take a look at some of the following examples as ways to restore the land to its natural habitat utilizing nature:
An Indian man takes it upon himself to plant over 550 hectares of trees on what was a devoid sandbar. Crowned “the forest man” in India, he started planting trees on a deserted sandbar and has over time created a thriving forest, replete with elephants, tigers, rhinos-providing them with an ecosystem.
Mushrooms have a remarkable ability to break compounds down and help the process of decay. These organisms can be instrumental in remedying oil spills or cleaning up areas affected by other contaminants.
Paul Stamets, leading scientist of mycology, the study of mushrooms, explains an experiment he was involved in where multiple piles of dirt were contaminated with diesel fuel, and each pile was treated in different ways. One was a control pile, one was treated with enzymes, one with bacteria, and one was inoculated with mushroom spores. The results were astonishing. As Stamets says, the non-mushroom piles were “dead, dark, and stinky.” The pile treated with mushroom spores had sprouted a mountain of fungi, attracted insects, which then attracted birds, which brought seeds, and soon the pile was green and teeming with life.
Over 50 years, David Bamberger resolved to restore 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country back to its natural habitat. Using native grasses and proper land management, David was able to refill the underground aquifers. This resulted in a handful of springs popping up, creating lakes and running water. The land started to transform back into its original habitat and now boasts enormous biodiversity.
Using floating plants and grasses, scientists in Mexico City have been able to restore a lake and wetland area to its original habitat. When they started the restoration project, the lake was covered in algae, contained floating dead fish, and other contaminants. Through the use of specialized aquatic plants that filter and sequester pollutants through its roots, they were able to clean the area up.
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