Still haven’t raked your leaves? Don’t bother

( file photo by Jason Viau)

If you are looking for a good reason not to rake your leaves, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has a good one.

It is urging people to just leave the leaves where they fall.

Senior Conservation Biologist, Dan Kraus called it a small act that can make a big difference for the environment.

“Layers of leaves are an important habitat for many animals, such as toads, frogs, and pollinators. They hibernate under the insulating layer of leaves,” he said. “Many species of insects also need plant stalks or dead branches for hibernation.”

Kraus said as the leaves break down, they also provide a natural mulch, fertilizing the soil.

If you like birds, that layer of leaves can help them survive the harsh cold.

“Fruits and seeds that remain on flowers and shrubs are a crucial food source that sustains many songbirds, such as goldfinches, jays, and chickadees,” he said. “Overwintering insects in our yards also provide an important food source for birds.”

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s request comes after a recent report said 60 per cent of the globe’s biodiversity has disappeared since 1970.