Gardening for the Planet: A Climate Change Documentary

Combating Eco-Anxiety with Native Plant Gardening

Coming in February, 2024

Native plants thriving in this still from a climate change documentary

Gardening For The Planet is a powerful climate change documentary that sheds light on the critical role of native plant gardening in combating the devastating effects of climate change. Join us on this journey to discover how individuals and communities can make a meaningful impact by embracing native plant gardening, offering hope and optimism in the face of environmental challenges and eco-anxiety.

Combat Eco-Anxiety through our Climate Change Documentary

Climate change is an undeniable reality, with rising temperatures, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and warming oceans threatening our planet. Eco-anxiety, or chronic fear of environmental doom, is on the rise as people around the world grapple with the fear of environmental catastrophe.

Gardening For The Planet: A Climate Change Documentary acknowledges these challenges but presents a different narrative.

Our film demonstrates how every gardener, every community, can make a meaningful impact by embracing native plant gardening, providing hope in the face of eco-anxiety.

“In the past, we have asked one thing of our gardens: that they be pretty. Now they have to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators, and manage water.”

Doug Tallamy

Why Climate Change Matters Now

The effects of human-induced global warming are evident, from destructive wildfires to melting glaciers and deadly heat waves. The loss of two-thirds of Earth’s wildlife since 1970 is alarming, with rampant development consuming natural habitats. In the United States, millions of acres of lawns and invasive non-native plants threaten native ecosystems.

Barren land still from a climate change documentary

Millions of plant, insect, and animal species are at risk of extinction by 2050. As human populations grow and development spreads, native habitats vanish. Invasive plants from Asia, Europe, and South America replace native flora, disrupting the delicate balance of ecosystems. Insects, critical to the food web, face a 45 percent decline in abundance, with many species threatened.

An Informed Yet Optimistic View

Gardening For The Planet: A Climate Change Documentary takes a journalistic approach to storytelling, combining cinema verité footage, interviews, and stock footage. Rather than flashy style, we focus on compelling characters and a straightforward narrative to convey the urgency of our message.

The documentary, to be released in 2024, unveils the consequences of biodiversity loss and climate change. It opens with a sobering montage showcasing the planet’s environmental deterioration. Voiceovers emphasize the impending catastrophe but also offer hope through individual and community gardening initiatives.

Stunning close-up visuals of native plants and their vibrant ecosystems fill the film. Vibrant colors, buzzing insects, and birds in action contrast with silent, sterile landscapes. Regional exploration in North Carolina highlights the significance of native plants’ adaptation to local conditions and their role in supporting local ecosystems.

Experts, from horticulturists to entomologists, guide us through the transformative power of native gardening. They share practical steps for viewers to make a difference in their landscapes, from protecting trees during construction to replacing lawns with native plants. Gardening For The Planet concludes with a powerful message: every individual can confront climate change in their own gardens, balconies, and communities.

Behind Gardening for the Planet: A Climate Change Documentary

The film’s producer and director, Joanne Hershfield, brings years of documentary experience and a deep passion for the subject.

The production team includes cinematographer K. James Peterson, known for his award-winning work in commercial and documentary filmmaking.

Our main characters include Dan Stern and Becca Wait from the North Carolina Botanical Garden, passionate about conserving native plants and habitats. Matt Jones, a horticulture extension agent, leads viewers through native gardening practices. Home gardeners like Jerilyn Maclean, Frank McKeever, and Bil Rosenfeld share their experiences and enthusiasm for native plant gardening.

Our Call to Action

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