All four yards demonstrate key concepts for enhancing habitat:
provide food, water and cover
provide a variety of native plants (plant diversity)
provide vegetation of varying heights (vertical diversity) – canopy trees, understory trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants
provide brush piles, dead trees or limbs, water sources, nest boxes (structural diversity)
provide pollinator gardens or wildflower patches
regularly remove invasive non-native plants
use minimal to no pesticides and fertilizers
promote the concept of “freedom lawns”
All four yards have been on previous Audubon Wildlife Friendly Yard Tours. One yard provides an excellent example of how to create and manage a healthy urban forest. Another yard features a pond designed specifically for dragonflies, frogs and birds. None of the yards have been designed or maintained professionally; each is the product of the work of the current property owners (though they may have consulted with professionals or contracted for occasional work).
The field trip is geared for people who are committed to making changes in their own yards or in neighborhood parks. It is free, but reservations are required; group size is limited to 20. Call Donna Legare at 850 386-1148 to register.