Leaf-Fest: a Misguided Venture?

As the city of Coeur d’Alene wraps up the annual “leaf-fest,” wherein street crews collect around 1,400 tons of leaves, some argue the task is unnecessary and even harmful to the environment. Check out Nathan’s report:

People raking their leaves is in fact not helpful because it is bad for the environment, ends up destroying key parts of ecosystems, and can affect the water supply that we all use daily. In the article, “Good news: You don’t need to rake your leaves; experts explain why” the author states, “Mizejewski explained that leaves and other organic matter sent to landfills can break down and form methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change” (Pitofsky 2). This shows that when people rake their leaves, bag them, and take them to the dump, it causes climate change. While getting rid of the leaves makes your lawn look nice, it ends up releasing methane and causing climate change, which is bad for the environment. Later, when discussing life on the lawn, the author states, “The layer of leaves on your lawn is ‘really important wildlife habitat,’ according to Mizejewski, forming ‘an entire ecosystem in and of itself.’” (Pitofsky 2). This clearly shows that anyone’s lawn is important to all critters and creatures. Why would people rake their leaves when it actually does harm? Raking leaves should be one of the last things people do as they really do it to have a nice looking lawn when it will be covered in snow in a few weeks. The author states “Leaves can also end up in streams and rivers where drains lead. That can affect the water quality and ‘sensitive species adapted to those waterways,’ according to Schlossberg” (Pitofsky 3). When there are huge piles of leaves they can be blown into rivers, streams, and lakes which could potentially harm the wildlife there. Raking your leaves takes more work and if you didn’t do it, it would help the environment, help small animals, and benefit the water supply. 

Pitofsky, Marina. “Good News: You Don’t Need to Rake Your Leaves. Experts Explain Why.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 24 Oct. 2021, 

However, CdA leaves are shredded and turned into compost.

Photo Courtesy of City of Coeur d’Alene; link