Bringing nature home

Steven gardenWhen my son was a little boy, one of the first written symbols he recognized was the golden arches. It would be a bit longer before words made sense to him, but he knew what that particular logo represented. This is attributable to businesses’ excellent marketing departments and intellectual property attorneys, in contrast to trees or birds with their limited advocates and resources.

trees have no tongues

Dr Seuss, The Lorax

To help expand my knowledge of the natural world, Audubon at Home ambassadors made a site visit in early December; the site being my home. Audubon at Home encourages creating gardens to attract wildlife and paying attention to key species that are likely to visit yards in particular regions.

As the consultants, Alyssa and Danielle, walked through my yard, they offered ideas for creating a space that is attractive to wildlife.  Audubon at Home ambassadors consult on habitat features, such as rain or pollinator gardens and habitat practices such as removing invasive plants and water conservation. Within guidelines, you can personalize your property to obtain Wildlife Sanctuary certification, but the heart of the program requires observing ten species from a list of 30. The Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary website has information to help identify birds, insects, and amphibians; and even suggests ideal habitat for attracting each species. Check out the links through the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia’s website

gardenAudubon at Home provides practical ways to create more natural habitats around their homes by stressing:

  • Conserving and protecting water
  • Removing invasive plants
  • Replacing non-native plants with natives
  • Reducing/eliminating pesticides and fertilizers

195 world leaders departed Paris having reached agreement that climate change represents an urgent threat to humanity and the planet. The reductions in emissions required to keep temperatures in check can start with each of us. With our homes and gardens, we are empowered to see how small changes can make a big difference.

home sanctuaryOn my list of goals for 2016 is to create a sanctuary @ home and get the property certified through Audubon. If you are ready to make your backyard a more eco-friendly landscape for birds, bees, and other beneficial wildlife,  Audubon at Home can guide your aspirations to action.

© Joan S Grey, 15 DEC 2015


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