Notes From the Field 4: Notes

As we’re not able to put links in our videos yet, I figured I could put the design up here. But first, the video!

This garden is 20 feet wide by 140 feet long. It’s a big boi! Most importantly though, this garden would not be possible without the removal of some pretty massive Norway Maples. What did it look like with all those maples you ask?

You can’t possibly plant a decent native plant garden under that. Ughhhhhh. You just gotta get ride of them. It’s Ok!

When you do get rid of them, you can plant this!

Looking for design or installation help? Send us a message and we’ll help turn your garden fantasies into reality.

Adapt Now: January 2022

Happy New Year! At least I think it should be. Hopefully the holidays were great for all of you. Our has finally fallen victim to the latest wave of the coronavirus. Though sequestering ourselves from society isn’t the most fun for our extremely sociable family, we are glad that we thoroughly enjoy each others’ company and that our illness is mild (thank you Pfizer!)(20 year old Billy would never have imagined 42 year old Billy saying that.) Because of illness, this will be an abbreviated email. STAY SAFE out there friends, and do good.

In late December, Adapt filled out the necessary paperwork, paid our fees and applied to become a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization with the IRS. We hope to hear about our status before the spring.

Finally, we are introducing our new community leaders on Facebook and Instagram over the next few weeks. Head on over there to meet the team. Or wait until next month when we introduce everyone in our email.

We wish you all the best, especially over the next few weeks. Take it day by day, enjoy where you are and we’ll be out of this in no time. April is 11 weeks away…

interview with SustainabiliME podcastLate in November we recorded an interview with Kelly McElroy, a graduate student at the University of Michigan School for Environment And Sustainability, for her podcast: SustainabiliME.
Click here or below to listen.

Read the rest of January’s newsletter here.

Adapt Now: December 2021 Newsletter

Milkweed and Mountain Mint on a chilly December morning in Illinois

This is the day that many of you have been waiting for. Our Service Request Form is now open! Requests received during this current enrollment period will be fulfilled in the late winter – early spring (consultations) and late spring – early summer (installations and kit pick-ups). It is our sincerest hope that we can fulfill every request we receive. BUT! We need your help. Please only request the service that you are able to receive. If you are not ready, no worries! There is always the autumn. If you are ready, click on the link above and make a request for a consultation, a garden kit, or a micro-meadow installation.

Give. Donate on Patreon so we may continue to bring our services to new areas.

Serve. Volunteer with Adapt in whatever capacity you are able.

Regenerate. Bring back the native ecosystem where you live

We had the wonderful opportunity to work with Cathryn and Mario in early November. They enthusiastically invited us to host our first shrub cutting workday at their beautiful home in Ypsilanti. This beautiful home happens to also be surrounded by quite a few beautiful black and white oaks as well as pignut hickory complete with an intact understory of spring ephemerals like trillium, bloodroot, cutleaf toothwort and may apple. With the increased light reaching the soil and decreased competition from the shrubs and vines, we expect to see a dramatic increase in the native wildflowers over the next few years. Click on the photo above to learn about common invasive shrubs in the midwest and northeast.

read the rest of our newsletter here

Adapt Now: November 2021 Newsletter

October was an incredibly productive month of an incredibly productive year. Our nearly final numbers for our second year show us having directly helped 150 individuals and organizations thus far, with most of that help in the form of garden installations and consultations. Undoubtedly, our organization has touched and been touched by many more people through conversations, volunteer workdays, and excited new gardeners and ‘adapters’ paying it forward. Generous donors have contributed $8672 this year on Patreon, and those donations continue to make this Community Supported Ecology possible. This money not only helped bring native plants and ecological education into our communities, it has also supported three local native plant nurseries in Michigan.

Speaking of Patreon, we have received an incredibly generous offer from a supporter here in Ann Arbor. They are going to match all of the new monthly and yearly support we receive in the last two months of this year! Become a supporter now and effectively double your support for the first year. Your support will becoming increasingly important as our efforts expand into more cities.

Lastly, we will be contacting those who have signed up for fall and winter consultation in the coming weeks. Please be on the look out for our email so we can set up a time to talk.


Click below to read the rest of the newsletter

Adapt Now: October 2021 Newsletter

It’s our first newsletter! Thank you all for joining us in this adventure toward building a Community Supported Ecology. In our newsletters we will share updates on our efforts, book recommendations; and some easy, beginner friendly tips on ecologically appropriate and productive gardening. Overall, this newsletter is for YOU! Let us know what you think of it and what we can do to make it more helpful to you.

We take this idea of Community Supported Ecology very seriously (while still being irreverent and fun, because who likes a crankypants?). We are all in this together: top to bottom, side to side and all around. Being human, being animal, being of the Earth, inextricably binds each and every one one of us to one other and to all of life around us. This is a truth that does not require great leaps of the imagination to experience, and feel and know. So let’s support each other and support the ecosystems that allow us to experience the great joy and wonder of being alive!

As this is our first newsletter, please forgive all of the awkwardness of design. We are not first-rate email newsletter makers. We are ecologists! But we will get better at this, especially when we aren’t planting 10 gardens a week. Your patience with us is greatly appreciated. So without further ado…


The MLive article, Lose the Lawn, really blew up Adapt in September. Since then, we’ve had over 100 requests for services, 45 new supporters on Patreon, and 55 people join our volunteer list. Whew!

This year, we’ve built 35 gardens including a large pollinator garden in Manistee, consulted with over 40 people on their own landscapes and native gardens (including one who created her own version of Adapt – shout out to Theresa and Oregon Nature Alliance in Oregon, WI!), and had our first plantings with volunteer help. Thanks to all of you who have volunteered! It’s been wonderful to meet and work alongside you. We have 20 more gardens to plant before we give away our fall garden kits in two weeks.

One of our volunteer leaders, Jonathan Parker, has also been engaging groups including the Inter-Cooperative Council at Ann Arbor to discuss transitioning large areas of lawn into native plantings.

Inspired? Take a photo and post to social media with

We have to use this first opportunity to recommend what we think is the single most important book one could read if they are just starting into learning practical ecological restoration: Nature’s Best Hope, by Douglas W. Tallamy. Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, has done elegant and ground breaking research on the importance of native plants for promoting insect abundance, especially for Lepidopteran species (butterflies and moths). This book takes you on a short history of conservation efforts in the United States, and then clearly spells out the current problem and possible solutions. (cheat sheat: plant native oaks, cherries, willows, asters, goldenrods and sunflowers). This book is an absolute must have in everyone’s library. Pick yourself up a copy and get an extra for a friend!

Leave the leaves!Just a reminder that fallen leaves are a normal part of the seasonal ecological processes that sustain life through the winter – a cover of leaves as it naturally falls provides cover for overwintering animals and food for microorganisms, and adds organic matter and fertility to the soil. Of course, since many of us live in urban and suburban environments, it’s important to remain mindful of places where leaves can safely remain (garden beds, naturalized areas, lawns) and places where they should be cleared for our own safety (storm drains, gutters, sidewalks). And remember, brown is a color! Enjoy the autumn!

All of the work we do is possible only because of our supporters on Patreon. Please become a supporter today and help fund our mission of building Community Supported Ecology