Cook: How to create your own national park

Bees gather on a coneflower in Ann Brown's Lookout Mountain yard. / Staff Photo by David Cook

Earlier this summer, my wife and I spent a lovely morning with Ann Brown, a retired librarian who lives on Lookout Mountain with husband Howard. As we drove around the mountain looking at purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and swamp milkweed, Ann, so kind and inviting, gave us something most valuable.

A new perspective.

Inspired by bees, butterflies and the God who created them, Brown is on a mission:

"Change the way we see our yards," she declared.

Brown is not alone. With her: all of Creation. Garden clubs across the nation. Many of you in this city. Naturalists, scientists and ecologists who say the restoration of the world begins at home.

With our yards.

"Landscape is so disrupted by urbanization and suburbanization," she said "We've lost our connection to what is native in our area."