Friday, April 25, 2014

Be a Habitat Hero! by Donna Duffy


Does your garden supply habitat for songbirds and pollinators? If so, you can apply for Habitat Hero designation. A Habitat Hero garden meets these five objectives:
  • Creates diverse layers, plus shelter and nesting opportunities for wildlife
  • Is waterwise, energy-efficient, and uses few or no pesticides
  • Provides natural food in different seasons, based at least partly on native plants
  • Offers water for drinking and bathing
  • Controls invasive species
Following are some Wildscaping Principles that will help you provide healthy habitat for wildlife and meet the Habitat Hero designation.

Plant bird- and pollinator-friendly species and varieties with an emphasis on native plants and mimicking native architecture – prairie, woodland, forest and meadow.
Penstemon cardinalis

Pulsatilla patens - Pasqueflower

Spare the water! About 60% of domestic water use in the West goes to landscaping, mostly for turfgrass lawns.

Go light on the lawn. Plant grasses that require less water, less energy and fewer chemicals. Replace lawn with edibles, prairie or woodland plantings, or perennials, grasses and shrubs that provide habitat.

Minimize chemical use. More is most definitely not better. Pesticides kill beneficial species and chemical fertilizers can burn plants and leave soil salty. Did you know that homeowners apply chemicals at rates almost ten times higher than farmers on average.

Know and control invasive plants. Check out the website of the Colorado Weed Management Association at http://www.cwma.org.



To learn more about the Habitat Hero designation, and for application information and instructions, go to: http://habhero.org.