The earth is what we all have in common. - Wendell Berry
Habitat is all around us and it can mean so many things—the houses and apartments that we build, the streets, neighbourhoods, towns and cities that we design, the forests, fields, streams, creeks and wetlands filled with wildlife and the places where our habitats collide. Each tree is full of nests, knots, nooks and crannies. Each pond is filled with grasses, reeds, cattails and sedges, rotting logs and shallow waters. Each rock can be overturned to find an entire tiny universe of insects. Even the roads that we travel and the corridors that wildlife use are part of our habitat.
Whether we are protecting our communities from flooding, preparing our homes for the effects of climate change or restoring natural areas to support endangered species, habitat is an integral part of conservation. This is why we decided to call this issue “Habitat.”
In this issue, you’ll read about how recent storms have been challenging our monitoring networks, find out how wildlife habitat prevents zoonotic diseases from reaching humans and learn more about why we should share our habitat with urban wildlife. Then, head to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to find out how they plan to keep construction waste out of landfill. Take a drive to King Road in Burlington to find out how a temporary road closure is protecting Jefferson Salamanders, watch a cicada shed its skin after emerging from underground, take a moment to admire some yellow lady’s slipper orchids and then plant some milkweed to bring back the Monarch Butterflies.
We hope this issue will remind you that the earth is our habitat and our habitat it is our home—and that means caring as much about the natural areas that we need to live as we do about the houses that we live in.