This fall, a familiar scene will be repeated thousands of times across New England.  The leaves of deciduous trees, current bursting with color, will soon turn brown and fall to the ground.  And, as we have for decades, we'll rake those leaves into bags and either throw them away or, for the more energy conscious, use them to help insulate the house.

But, according to the National Wildlife Federation, we should leave the leaves on the ground.  Here's why:

1 - A layer of leaves becomes its own mini-ecosystem inhabited by salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, and earthworms.  Additionally, many butterflies and moths winter in piles of leaves.

2 - The leaves form a natural mulch for plants.  If you HAVE to rake your leaves, add them to your compost pile.

3 - Pollution and waste!  Those plastic bags are not bio-degradable and take up space in landfills.  And, those gas leaf blowers pollute the air and are annoyingly loud!

Now, take our poll about what you plan to do with your leaves...


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