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How Your Garden Can Support Local Wildlife

If gardening is an activity you enjoy, here are some tips to help create a healthy ecosystem while you do it: 

1. Choose Native Plants

Exotic ornamental plants attract less local wildlife than native plants. Exotic ornamentals come from a very different region than your local one, meaning they are part of an ecosystem where they support entirely different sets of wildlife. 
Native plants are ones that occur naturally in your region. Choosing native plants promotes great biodiversity because they are the foundation on which local life depends.

Supporting local wildlife is as simple as selecting local plants for your landscaping! To that end, check out this handy database from Audubon to find hundreds of native plants by typing in your zipcode.

2. “Bee” Kind to Pollinators

It’s an understatement to say pollinators are important. Pollinators help over 75% of our world’s plants to reproduce when they carry pollen from plant to plant while collecting nectar. This group of useful creatures consists of:

  • Bees (the largest part of the group)
  • Butterflies
  • Bats
  • Hummingbirds
  • Beetles

Unfortunately, studies show that these wild insects and animals are in decline due to loss of feeding and nesting habitats. The solution is to create a pollinator-friendly garden! Plant native annuals, perennials, and shrubs that bloom at different times throughout the warm seasons to provide your pollinators plenty of nectar and pollen. Along with that, create safe places in near your green space for pollinators to live. There is a great selection of decorative and subtle bee houses available on the market to keep your new friends safe!

3. Compost

Not only is compost a great natural fertilizer for your garden, but it is a great way to help the local ecosystem and all the wildlife in it at the same time. Microorganism activity is what takes your pile of unwanted organic matter into what many gardeners refer to as “black gold.” 

What can you compost?

  • Food scraps
  • Unwanted leftovers
  • Grass clippings
  • Weeds
  • Dead houseplants

Healthy soil equals healthy creatures that live in and around it, and a composting system is a great way to support your local wildlife.

By adding a few tweaks to your gardening routine, not only can you create a thriving green space, but promote the health of the local ecosystem as well!