A simple way to make life better for all the small critters that rely on leaf litter is to leave your rake in the shed and let the leaves stay on the ground until spring. Fallen leaves are important to the tiny ecosystem that exists in your own backyard. Butterflies, moths, earthworms, toads, salamanders, and many other small animals spend the winter under leaf litter and depend on it for their survival.
Leaf litter, made up of leaves, twigs, and pieces of bark, is an important component of healthy soil. The decomposing litter releases nutrients into the soil and holds in moisture. It also serves as great nesting material, hiding places, and protected spots for animals. This dead organic material provides the perfect habitat for a plethora of organisms, including worms, snails, spiders, and microscopic decomposers like fungi and bacteria.
Make greener choices this season and give local wildlife a helping hand!