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Citizen concerned by landscaping company's before-and-after photos: 'Am I overreacting or is this just so devastating?'

"[It's] hard to believe that to be true."

"[It’s] hard to believe that to be true.”

Photo Credit: iStock

One Redditor was gutted upon seeing a landscaping company's Facebook ad with before-and-after photos from a nearby town.

The post appeared in r/NoLawns, which is normally dedicated to replacing traditional turf grass with low-cost, low-maintenance alternatives. That often goes hand in hand with environmental concerns, though, which is why this user was unhappy with the landscaping ad.

"Am I overreacting or is this just so devastating to see?" the Redditor asked, attaching a screenshot from Facebook.

Photo Credit: u/plant__love / Reddit

The Facebook post came from a landscaper whose name was struck out. It invited readers to reach out for a free estimate on weeding, trimming, planting, and other yard services.

To draw in customers, the landscaper included pictures of their work — including two photos of a "welcome" sign in Highland, Michigan. In the "before" image, large, flowering sage bushes grew around the base of the sign. In the "after" image, all the bushes had been trimmed to bare, dead-looking stumps, not a blossom in sight.

"Very close city to mine cut all of the sage down that I assume was a home to many pollinators," the original poster said. "Maybe I am wrong and it was its time to [be] cut back, but [it's] hard to believe that to be true."

"Ignorance," said one commenter, confirming the original poster's fears. "It's too early in the season to cut back, at least in my climate. My goldenrod is in full bloom and the amount of bees and other pollinators out there is incredible."

Pollinators play a vital role in both wild ecosystems and cultivated spaces worldwide. By carrying pollen from flower to flower, they help plants mature and reproduce. Many are also an important part of the food chain, with larger animals relying on them to thrive. Without spring flowers for pollinators to feed on, the whole system could collapse.

Ironically, the "welcome" sign in the photos had a smaller sign attached declaring it a "monarch township." Monarchs are iconic and endangered butterflies that rely heavily on gardeners and conservationists planting the flowers they need to feed and reproduce.

One might expect a town with an interest in these butterflies to have a greater awareness of the needs of pollinators, but as commenters pointed out, that seemed not to be the case. "Cutting blooming plants back early right under a 'monarch township USA' sign. Ugh," said one user succinctly.

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