Climate Land Leaders Provide Ecosystem Services
Natural area restoration and regenerative agriculture mitigate climate change impacts and provide other “ecosystem services” as well, including improved water quality, reduced erosion, biodiversity and more.
For Climate Land Leaders Wendy Johnson and her husband, Johnny Rafkin, the return of nature is a sweet reward for their hard work planting and maintaining prairie, trees and shrubs and more. “We see insects we’ve never seen before, more amphibians and so many more birds,” Wendy says. “The farm is alive and noisy now! Nature is so resilient.”
Improving soil health is a key component of Climate Land Leaders’ work. Climate Land Leaders take baseline soil measurements on areas where they will implement climate-friendly practices. Through the years, they will be looking for increases in soil organic matter and soil organic carbon. Many Climate Land Leaders have benefitted from one-on-one consultations with Dr. Sharon Weyers, a soil scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well.
Climate Land Leaders are part of various research projects through universities, government and nonprofit organizations that are documenting the ecosystem services their lands are providing. For example, Climate Land Leaders participate in the 1000 Farms Initiative, an ambitious research project that measures soil microbiology, water dynamics, plant communities, invertebrate diversity, bird diversity and habitat, insect communities and more.