Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Conservation Minute: The Backyard Conservationist

lplc conservation minuteWhether you own acres of land or have a small flower garden, you have an important role to play in creating spaces that support wildlife. As our forests become more fragmented, its critical to start looking toward our front and back yards, and even our patios, to consider managing these spaces for biodiversity.

There are countless ways we can encourage wildlife to thrive in our yards, but plants are the most important resource to consider. Many insects and wildlife species have specific dietary and habitat needs. If their needs are not met, then your property cannot support those species. The relationship between milkweed and monarch caterpillars is a perfect example – no milkweed, no monarchs. Therefore, planting a variety of native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees throughout your property encourages habitat stability and provides the resources necessary to support the widest diversity of insects, birds, and mammals.

owl Managing your outdoor space in an ecologically-friendly manner should also be a consideration. Wildlife are sensitive to many chemicals, so limit your use of pesticides. Adding features like birdbaths, butterfly bowls, or small ponds provide much-needed, clean drinking water for a variety of animals during the warm summer months. And don’t forget about patio plants. Potted flowers, vegetables, and herbs like mint, dill, aster, and black-eyed-susans offer great, little oases for insects in need of respite and food.

Looking for guidance? Visit the LPLC website’s Pollinator Pages for helpful planting and management tips.  Additional Resources include planting guides from the Xerces Society and Pollinator Partnership, and yard care for biodiversity tips from the Habitat Network (an effort from The Nature Conservancy and Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

The Lake Placid Land Conservancy provides this Conservation Minute.

Photo of provided by Lake Placid Land Conservancy.

Related Stories

Kerry Crowningshield is the Executive Director of the Lake Placid Land Conservancy, a community land trust working to conserve land in Lake Placid and the Ausable and Saranac River watersheds. She joined LPLC in 2016 as the Outreach Coordinator where she implemented a citizen science monitoring program and helped our communities better understand local resources and how to protect them. Prior to her work with LPLC, Kerry worked with the Lake Champlain Basin Program informing communities about water quality issues and threats facing the Lake Champlain Basin. Kerry lives in Port Kent near her extended family. When not working, you’ll find her kayaking, gardening, hiking, or photographing the many sights the Adirondacks has to offer.

One Response

  1. FriendOfWildthings says:

    My pool’s cover has become a vernal pool in my suburban yard. American toads gather there to mate and lay eggs in the early spring. The tiny baby toads disperse to the neighborhood in early summer. The problem is that many of the returning adults are flattened by cars as they return to mate the following spring.
    How can I help more of them survive?