Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 20, 2012.

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With 48 million acres of lawn in the US, a film aimed at helping people just say NO to thirsty, pesticide ridden, energy sucking lawns.

                  NEW FUNDING GOAL, $25,000!

 With additional funds we could increase outreach to schools, community organizations and do a Spanish translation.  The Meadow Project Kickstarter campaign ends Monday, February 20th at High Noon! Donate now!

The Meadow Project is a book and a film titled, Urban & Suburban Meadows, Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces The project goal is to educate and raise awareness about healthy, easy and affordable land care practices that save wildlife and human life. The book and video provide the way to create living, sustainable, organic landscapes in our backyards, schoolyards, churches and communities.  Everyone can participate, one patch of earth at a time.

Get to Know Me

NBC's Today's Show, Your Life Calling, correspondent, Jane Pauley

The Meadow Project

Matrix Media

Film Clip with Doug Tallamy 'Why Native Plants?"

Blog: Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

Meadow Project Facebook Page

What We Need The good news is, June 1, 2010 I published the book!  It has been well received. The problem is, books cost a lot to publish, but films cost even more! This is a big project and I have exhausted my funds.  I need your help for the last push toward completion of the companion, 60 minute, educational, documentary film. We need to raise $20,000 to finish final filming, music, post-production (editing, graphics,color correction, audio sweetening), duplication, packaging and marketing.  Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraiser.  If we do not reach our $20,000 goal, no money will change hands.

A Little History  For the first 20 years of home-ownership, like most Americans, I bought into the idea of the "perfect" lawn.  No water bill was too large, no bag of fertilizer or pesticide too tiresome to spread, no power equipment, to maintain all this, too daunting.  I was the queen, getting what everyone seemed to cherish, a great, emerald green lawn!  One evening I looked around. Something was missing.  Where had all the fireflies gone? I used to enjoy thousands of these twinkling critters every evening.  I made the disturbing connection, I had killed them off by bombarding my yard with pesticides.  With this epiphany, my fifteen year journey began.  I started by simply saying "NO" to thirsty, pesticide ridden, energy, sucking lawn!”   I recently wrote about my land care transformation for the blog, Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, How Fireflies Forever Changed my Life.

Why This is So Important  I realized how big and dangerous this American love affair with lawn had become.  There are 48 million acres of lawn in the US.  It is the 4th largest, herbaceous, planted acreage behind corn, soybeans and wheat. Native habitat is being destroyed with each new development, each new acre of lawn. Lawns rank #1 for water consumption and more chemicals are applied per acre than on agricultural lands, 80 million pounds of pesticides and 70 million tons of lawn fertilizers.  These chemicals are killing soil organisms, beneficial insects, birds, and causing cancers.  Pollutant runoff from lawns and agriculture is killing aquatic life in our waterways and has created a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Time to Get Proactive.  I started looking for an alternative, a way to reduce all these non-native, unsustainable, monoculture lawns. While teaching a course in organic land care at the USDA Graduate School in Washington, D.C.,  I realized meadow and prairie habitats were part of the solution.  Not only are they truly beautiful but they support local food webs, birds, bees, butterflies and they are organic and sustainable.

Four years ago, I began traveling the country filming meadow and prairie landscapes for the book and educational, documentary film. I collaborated with experts engaged in planting native habitats and talked to people living, working, learning and playing in meadowscapes.  

Now, I am regularly invited to conferences to give talks on the subject. I work with schools to understand, plan and plant meadowscapes.  The children are particularly excited about all the life and activity that exists in a meadow. After all, they are our future stewards, our best shot at turning around this ever quickening  degradation of our environment.  It is very important they have a connection to the natural world. Here is an excerpt from the book:

Children begin to recognize that human beings can easily tip the balance in an ecosystem by their actions. With this hands- on, learn-by-doing approach, children are more apt to develop co-existence skills and become protecting stewards rather than reckless consumers of the environment. And as kids grow up, surrounded by natural landscapes, non-native lawns will be seen as an unenlightened landscaping choice of the past. Meadows, prairies and other natural landscapes will become the new landscaping norm.

How You Can Support The Meadow Project  I have the folks in place to finish the film by April, at the latest.  I just need the dollars to go forward.  I’m asking for your help to bring this to completion.  How can you do that?

  • Make a pledge on Kickstarter today!  No pledge is too small!  Check out the nice gifts you can get not to mention my total gratitude. 
  • Be my Ambassador, help me spread the word by telling friends, family and your social networks about the mission of the Meadow Project. Send the link to my Kickstarter campaign, along with a spectacular endorsement, to everyone you know-especially folks who are concerned about the environment.  Don't forget to "Like", tweet and share the link on Facebook and blogs.
  • If you have any brilliant promotional ideas, I'm all ears!

Review

 This review captures exactly what I’m trying to convey with the book and video, increased awareness of our environment and the ability to make healthy land care choices to accomplish good stewardship of our patches of earth.

Thanks so very much for helping me make this film and project a reality.

Warmest regards,

Catherine Zimmerman

Follow me on Twitter @meadowproject

FAQ

  • Major jubilation! High fives! Tears of joy! And, probably the sound of popping corks!

    Then we will sit down and get to work on exceeding the goal. Remember, Kickstarter takes a 5% fee and Amazon takes between 3-5%. That means we will actually only be funded at around $18,000. The project really needs more than $20,000 but we tried to set a realistic goal to achieve in a 44 day campaign. Because Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition, if we fall short, no funding occurs. More funding means we can do a Spanish translation, offer the book and film to science teachers, church groups and community organizations at a reduced price or hopefully for free! An explosion of pesticide free, native, meadowscapes, buzzing with life, is the ultimate goal!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    7 backers

    CHICKADEE - Receive a personal thank you tweet from Catherine.

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    11 backers

    DRAGONFLY - Personally written thank you & meadow site analysis checklist card.

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    78 backers

    ASTER - Autographed Urban & Suburban Meadows video + personally written thank you & meadow site analysis checklist card.

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    42 backers

    FIREFLY - Friend of the Meadow Project thank you on website donor wall + autographed Urban & Suburban Meadows video + personally written thank you & meadow site analysis checklist card.

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    70 backers

    LITTLE BLUE STEM - Autographed set of Urban & Suburban Meadows video & book + Friend of the Meadow Project thank you on website donor wall + personally written thank you & meadow site analysis checklist card.

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    8 backers

    MONARCH - 2 Sets of autographed Urban & Suburban Meadows video & book, one for you and a set for a gardener friend, your local school or library + Friend of The Meadow Project thank you on the website donor wall + personally written thank you & site analysis checklist card.

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    2 backers

    HUMMINGBIRD - List of meadow plants, native to your area, to get you started on your own meadow. 2 Sets of autographed Urban & Suburban Meadows video & book, one for you and a set for a gardener friend, your local school or library + Friend of The Meadow Project thank you on the website donor wall + personally written thank you & site analysis checklist card.

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    6 backers

    BLUE BIRD - all of the above + Friend of the Meadow Project credit in the film.

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    0 backers

    SUNFLOWER - all of the above + a 1/2 hour phone garden consultation.

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    0 backers

    GOLD FINCH - all of the above + choose from an on-site garden consultation or a talk on making meadows for your garden club or organization. Must be within 50 miles of Washington DC. Or a 1 1/2 hour phone/Skype garden consultation.

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    EAGLE - All of the fabulous gifts above + a producer credit on the film, Urban & Suburban Meadows, Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces.

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Funding period

- (44 days)