Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/washington/news.aspx?id=100509
Story Retrieval Date: 5/20/2013 4:12:47 AM CST
Brown Eyed Susans,
Source: Roxanne Paul, National Wildlife Federation
WASHINGTON -- A wildlife habitat garden: something Roxanne Paul of the National Wildlife Federation knows a lot about.
At the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C., Paul explained how to build your own habitat garden.
“It’s a site that provides food, water, cover, and places to raise young for wildlife, and it also employs at least two sustainable or environmentally friendly practices in gardening,” said Paul. “It’s a wonderful way for people to connect with nature.”
Once you’re up and growing, you can apply to have your wildlife habitat garden officially certified by the National Wildlife Federation. “For you to become certified with us, you have to show three sources of food, one of water, two of cover, two places to raise young and two sustainable gardening practices,” explained Paul.
Since beginning the program in 1973, the National Wildlife Federation has certified more than 110,000 habitat gardens. “Two-thirds of the gardens have been certified in the past five years,” said Paul.
The idea is to stake out a small piece of land. But even if you don’t have a backyard, Paul says you really don’t need much space.
“We’ve even had some people do it in their balconies,” said Paul, who added that butterflies and birds will fly up to people’s habitat gardens. “It really is quality over quantity, so you don’t have to have a large acre lot to do this. It’s something anyone can do,” said Paul.
Regardless of the garden’s size, Paul said there are big benefits of having a habitat garden—especially in light of global warming and going green.
“Green spaces are disappearing in people’s communities and wildlife is losing their habitat,” said Paul, who also said the gardens benefit the people who own them as well. “I think it’s a win-win situation.”