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Dear Bay Weekly:

Right on, Steve Carr [Nov. 24]! I love those little urban and suburban patches of nature. They remind us that nature lives on and is incredibly resilient.

When I go back to Pittsburgh, I am amazed by all the wildlife that has made comebacks from the industrial wastelands. There are now pileated woodpeckers in the woods around my mom’s house. I never saw them anywhere around there when I was growing up. There are hawks everywhere, even on the light posts along the parkways. I saw a presentation at a nature fair of a shock test in the Allegheny River with all the fish captured in a big aquarium. There was tremendous diversity, and there were some that they thought were extinct. When I was young, only catfish and carp could survive in those rivers.

Let’s face it: Most people, and certainly not children, hardly ever leave their urban and suburban environments, so how are they ever going to learn about nature? If we are not bringing up the next generations to appreciate the outdoors, then we might as well just write it all off. Little places can be important.

If we bring nature back to our yards, it can make a difference, and that is one we place we all have control over and don’t need help from the government to make changes. I produced a bumper crop of monarch butterflies in my yard this summer/fall, not to mention all the other stuff. That guy who talks about getting cut off from the original ecosystem forgets that there is still an ecosystem there. Different but able to evolve in its own unique way.

–Larry Lesko, Tallahassee, Fla.