Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Landscape Restoration Works

Problems with Rundown Landscapes

­We understand the problem, now what's the solution? Think there's not much you can do? Read ahead to see if you're right (spoiler alert…you're not).

­We all see a somewhat similar picture in our minds when we imagine the "American dream" home. Its lawn is perfect. The grass is cut, healthy and full. There are trees and shrubs surrounding the property. Flowers serve as borders for each and every walkway. But drive a mile down the road and there's the inevitable abandoned home. The grass has dried up and died. The soil has turned into light dirt. That run-down, depleted piece of land is more than an eyesore; it's a waste of valuable Earth. And much of the Earth's landscapes are beginning to look like that abandoned yard.

Forests and wildlife are valuable parts of our economy. Roughly 1.6 billion people around the world are dependent upon the resources we get from forests and landscapes. Now, take into consideration the fact that over 50 percent of the Earth's original forest coverage is gone, it's definitely a problem [source: WWF]. What will happen to those 1.6 billion people if we continue to deforest areas?

Still not sure what specific things we get from nature? Think of firewood, food, drinking water and plants that are active ingredients in a majority of common household medicines. Nature provides more than a pretty sight.