ELIMINATE INVASIVE PLANTS
Commonly planted landscape plants are becoming problems by spreading to wild areas and preventing native plants from flourishing. Believe it or not, English ivy, butterfly bushes, burning bushes and barberry bushes are all problematic. Check this site from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for any invasive you currently have on your property and then see about phasing them out over the coming seasons.
USE MORE NATIVE PLANTS
By using more varied plants that are native to this region, you will be enhancing the ecosystem by feeding the local bees, bugs and birds. We need the balance of what each plant and creature contributes to enjoy a healthy backyard. See what the National Wildlife Federation is recommending here. Click here for a list of native plants for our region.
PLANT SOME TREES
All kinds of native trees have value for wildlife. Small flowering/fruiting trees like dogwoods and hawthorns provide food and nesting sites for local birds. Evergreens provide shelter in winter. Oaks are the biggest life-giver in the landscape feeding more than 500 species of local butterflies and moths, not to mention all the birds, and wild animals that eat their acorns. Click here for a list of wonderful woody plants to plant.
REPLACE SOME LAWN WITH LANDSCAPE BEDS AND MEADOWS
Grass is nice for playing and picnicking and it is necessary in some places on our properties, however, a mono-culture of just turf contributes little to wildlife and the environment and it is costly to maintain. Consider expanding existing landscape beds and planting more native flowers, shrubs, grasses and ground-covers. These can enhance seasonal color, texture and variety as well as provide important food and cover for wildlife while reducing costly lawn space. For more on turning part of your property into a meadow, click here.
EDUCATE OURSELVES AND OTHERS
Reading Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy (professor at the University of Delaware) is a great place to start. Click here for more. See these other online resources as well: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Audubon Society, Penn State Natural Resources Extension, Pennsylvania Forest Stewards, and National Wildlife Federation.
Penn State Forestry/Wildlife Educational Resources.
PA Forest Stewardship Program
or woodland contact us or click the link below for more information.