If you have been procrastinating about raking the leaves in your yard, it is okay!  Put the rake away, put your feet up and help the environment.

According to the Nature Conservancy of Canada it is better for the environment and the circle of life to leave them on the ground.

Lisa Dahlseide, Education Director with the Cochrane Ecological Institute, completely agrees with the theory. She says, "There's a lot of invertebrates, insects that do appreciate having that leaf cover so if offers them a little bit more shelter and options for habitat. As well as then birds that stay here all winter long can maybe eat those insects hiding underneath those leaves, so it offers another food source for them." 

Dahlseide says the leaves on the ground add to soil health. "It just adds another level of nutrients to the soil so it's good for your grass as well as for your garden. Some people will actually gather up some of the leaves and actually put it right on their garden to help with building up that soil health."

If you have fruit trees that are littering your yard, the Cochrane Ecological Institute will take them off your hands. Dahlseide says, "We have all sorts of animals that love to eat them, but it also keeps the invitation out of their yard to invite other animals that they maybe don't want in the urban environment such as coyotes that absolutely love crab apples." Dahlseide says they are also on the hunt for Mountain Ash berries at the moment which they collect and freeze over the winter to have on hand to feed the Ceda and Bohemian Wax Wing birds when they arrive back in the spring.

To learn more about the Cochrane Ecological Institute click here.