Colourful trees around the city have started to lose their leaves, and if you haven’t gotten around to raking them up yet, you might want to leaf (hehe) them alone.

On Halloween, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) released valuable information on the benefits of not removing leaves from your lawn.

According to the not-for-profit conservation group, the fallen leaves make a great habitat for smaller critters like toads, frogs, and insects. If having more insects around your lawn doesn’t sound appealing, keep in mind that they are an important food source for other, possibly more appealing, animals like butterflies and birds.

“Fruits and seeds that remain on flowers and shrubs are a crucial food source that sustains many songbirds, such as goldfinches, jays and chickadees,” said Dan Kraus, NCC senior conservation biologist on the same topic last year.

“Overwintering insects in our yards also provide an important food source for birds. Providing winter habitats for our native birds and insects is just as important as providing food and shelter during the spring and summer.”

The leaves themselves, of course, also make for a great, natural fertilizer.

If you really don’t want leaves scattered on your lawn, raking them under bushes or piling them on top of garden beds is a good alternative to keep your property clean and still environmentally friendly.