Reconnecting to Natural Prairie Ecosystems

As people move from the countryside into cities and suburbs their relationship with nature and the environment tends to decrease. Several studies have linked values and lifestyle choices to environmental knowledge, which is why it is important that people living in cities, towns, and rural areas are exposed to natural settings representative of the biome in which they live. This is especially important in the prairie region of Saskatchewan that has one of the most transformed landscapes on the planet due to intensive agriculture. Alternative landscaping using native plant species in urban centers and rural communities would increase our familiarity with the nature of Saskatchewan. The use of native species in city landscapes such as parks would also provide opportunities for formal and non-formal education at all levels and supplement educational efforts in ecology, botany, and environment studies. Individual can also advance exposure to natural prairie ecosystems through knowledge of xeriscaping. Landscapes of native plant species within city, provincial, and regional parks would also provide people with a sense of place, one that reminds them about where they live.