NWF: 5 reasons why you shouldn’t rake your yard

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)— Landowners, listen up: there’s a new excuse to leave the leaves as they are.

The National Wildlife Federation recommends property owners put down their rakes for the sake of nature. Here’s why:


  • It reduces landfill waste. The NWF says leaves and yard debris account for 33 million tons of the nation’s sold waste, which leads to more greenhouse gases
  • It helps the soil. Leaves serve as a natural mulch, supressing weeds while restoring soil nutrients.
  • It protects wildlife. A variety of critters rely on leaf litter for food, shelter and nesting material, including caterpillars, birds and reptiles.
  • It saves time. Who really wants to spend hours upon hours raking?
  • It saves money. You don’t need to pay for yard waste bags.

Before you abandon all seasonal yard work, there is a catch. Experts say it’s best to cut up leaves using a mulching lawn mower.

“If you leave them all winter where they are, you will be sponsoring colonies from kingdom fungi – white mold and some other things who will actually damage your lawn,” said Peter Carrington, the assistant curator for Michigan State University’s Beal Botanical Garden.

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