(KFVS) - Fall is officially here.
And although the natural beauty of the Heartland at this time of year is unique, most people will have to begin the dreaded, tireless task of raking up those beautiful leaves once they fall from the trees.
But leaving those pesky leaves in your yard can serve many benefits, from being good for plants and gardens to helping wildlife survive in the colder weather, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
The fallen leaves are good for wildlife as they provide a means of survival for some animals, including earthworms, box turtles and chipmunks.
The leaves act as their own ecosystem and so many forms of wildlife depend on them for survival.
Those fallen leaves can be beneficial to plants and gardens, as well. They act as a natural mulch, which is good for suppressing weeds. And once they break down, the leaves also act as a natural fertilizer for the soil.
But if you are someone who must get those leaves out of your yard, instead of throwing them away, compost or recycle them. Some communities even have a curbside leaf pick-up service.
Also, avoid using leaf blowers. They create noise pollution and because many leaf blowers use fossil fuels, they pollute the air. Instead, just rake them up.
And just because you might not want them in your yard doesn't mean you can't use them for your plants and gardens. Raking them up and creating a leaf layer for your garden and other plant beds is a good way to get the most out of the leaves.
So, instead of letting fall get you down, leave those pesky leaves alone. They are actually, in fact, just one more perk of the natural beauty of fall.
For more information on how you can get the most out of those fallen leaves, you can visit the National Wildlife Federation's website.