Is Your Backyard… WILDLIFE FRIENDLY?
What would you like in your yard? Singing birds
Butterflies, birds, fish, and more All these add sensory sparkle to any size garden be it your back yard, front yard, or even a balcony.
Wildlife quickly arrives when… • Food • Water • Shelter are available. You’ve heard, “Build it and they will come…”
When you keep wildlife in mind Even • balcony/patio gardens • raised beds or containers just outside the door • curbside beds will lure local critters when they are designed with wildlife in mind. You don’t have to have a large area!!
Checklist according to National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat • Food • Water • Cover • Places To Raise Young
Certified Wildlife Habitat By 2006, more than 74,000 yards, schools, and communities had been certified, including more than 12,000 in the last six months. Each of them can feel good that they have done something special for wildlife by providing the four elements animals need to survive – food, water, cover, and places to raise young.
How to certify: Go to: http://www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife/ You can print out a form to certify a wildlife friendly space in your yard or anywhere in your community. NWF will make suggestions to help you fill out the forms or to help you meet the requirements.
If your habitat meets the requirements, you'll receive a personalized certificate suitable for framing and become a member of the National Wildlife Federation (a $15 value), receiving our award-winning National Wildlife magazine. For questions call 1-800-822-9919.
Why apply for certification? Although, there is a $15.00 application and processing fee, you become a member of National Wildlife Federation and receive their magazine National Wildlife and a quarterly newsletter called Habitats, providing you with a steady supply of tips and projects to maintain your Backyard Wildlife Habitat site year after year.
Other reasons…It’s fun You'll attract beautiful songbirds, cheerful butterflies and other interesting wildlife to your yard. Watching wildlife can be fun for the whole family.
It’s relaxing The natural environment of your habitat will provide a peaceful place to relieve stress and unwind, day or night.
It makes your yard more attractive. Replacing barren lawns with beautiful wildflowers and other native plants will increase the appeal of your property and will provide a nurturing place for wildlife.
It nurtures and supports wildlife ALL YEAR!! Habitat restoration is critical for wildlife where commercial and residential development has eliminated most natural areas. Wildlife especially need your help during the cold winter months.
And… It benefits the environment! Gardening practices that help wildlife, like reducing chemicals and conserving water, also help to improve air, water and soil quality throughout your neighborhood.
History of the Wildlife Habitat Program This is not a new program!! It has just become more and more popular and accepted. This was the American Dream… having a huge lawn
By the middle of the last century, human population booms and economic prosperity led to the spread of suburban development into once rural or wild areas. At the same time that the trend in landscaping began to favor close-cropped lawns, exotic ornamental specimen plants, and a desire for neatness and uniformity, new chemical fertilizers and pesticides were rapidly becoming available that made an insect-free, perpetually green yard an obtainable goal.
It started back in 1973!! • the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) ran an article in the April 1973 issue of National Wildlife magazine encouraging people to landscape and garden in a more sustainable, natural way, with wildlife in mind. Response to the article was so overwhelming that NWF began the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program that same year to educate people about the benefits, for both people and wildlife, of creating and restoring natural landscapes. Since that time, the practice of natural landscaping has grown in popularity.
Food?? • What do you do to provide food for wildlife?
Food Serve up a smorgasbord of wildlife-minded plants. Berry- laden trees or shrubs, such Barbados Cherry or Duranta, supply a juicy feast for songbirds. Also supply a mix of seed bearing flowers in plantings. Nectar laden blooms romance bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
http://www.abnativeplants.com/ The American Beauties™ collection of native plants makes it easy to use trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and wildflowers that are beautiful and good for wildlife. Native plant experts and wildlife experts have teamed up to create four gardens guaranteed to bring life to your landscape by providing food and habitat for a variety of desirable critters.
Why Choose Native Plants? Native plants provide the best source of food and cover for wildlife and are ideally suited to the soils and climate they evolved in. Because of this, they generally require minimal fertilizer, little supplemental water after they are established and no pest control. Please check out Andy and Sally Wasowski’s information http://www.botanicalmissionaries.com/index.htm
The Bird Garden The plants in this collection provide seeds, berries, nesting places and cover for all kinds of songbirds. Plus, there are lots of plants in this collection that provide interest four seasons of the year. Great web site for birding in TEXAS: http://www.passporttotexas.com/birds/links.html
Sisyrinchium angustifolium • Blue-eyed Grass Cardinals, song sparrows, house finches and other songbirds eat the seed.
Aster oblongifolius • Fall Aster Not only is the Aster beautiful, wild turkey and other game birds eat the seeds and foliage in the winter. It is also a nectar source for butterflies and bees.
Aquilegia ‘Blazing Star’ Columbine Cross between native A. canadensis and A. chrysantha hinckleyana. Attracts hummingbirds.
Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower Grows easily in wet soil Plant in sun to moderate shade
Lonicera sempervirens Trumpet Honeysuckle Coral Honeysuckle
The butterfly garden Many of these plants supply nectar as well as serving as the host plant for butterfly and insect visitors.
Aristolochia macrophylla • Dutchman’s Pipe
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed
Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed Smells like vanilla
Others to mention • Eupatorium greggii Gregg’s MIST