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Creating a Healthy Yard
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OK. You’re ready to begin creating an outdoor space that’s healthy for wildlife, for you and your family, and for the environment at large. Whether you’re just starting out or already on your way there, Audubon can help you reach your goal. Use the Habitat Inventory and the Priority Worksheet to create your individual Habitat Action Plan. Read helpful information on Gardening Basics and Bird Habitat Necessities.

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BIRD FEEDING


INVASIVE PLANTS


NATIVE PLANTS


TURF LAWN


WATER FEATURES


FREE-ROAMING CATS


NEST SITES


IMPERVIOUS HARDSCAPING

There is no single “ideal,” no formula that says you must have so many of this and so much of that for your yard to be vital. We’ll suggest particular ingredients and you mix and match to suit your tastes and desires. Though you’ll be designing and planting your space with a purpose, there’s room for imagination and fun. When you view your yard as “habitat,” your ecological awareness will be heightened. For instance, you’ll begin looking at plants for their edible offerings: Do they bear fruit, nuts, seeds, nectar? Your yard will be practical but bountiful as well.

The objective is to increase food and water sources for wildlife, shelter and nesting opportunities, native plantings, and biodiversity while decreasing invasive plant sprawl, lawn size, water and pesticide use, and polluted runoff. As you change or introduce an element, ask “Who or what will benefit from this action?” and “How does it affect the environment beyond my home?”

Remember that the enhancement of your outdoor environment will not be achieved overnight. Approach your mission simply and wisely, with small steps and patience. Think of it as you would your wardrobe. You wouldn’t throw out all your clothes and accoutrements at once and start anew each season; rather, you continually replace and add new items over time. In your yard, each action you take will improve the health and wealth of your habitat.

First take stock then take steps. Let's get started with these downloadable worksheets:

1) HABITAT INVENTORY - WHAT HAVE WE HERE?

2) PRIORITY WORKSHEET - WHERE DO I BEGIN?

Explore these pages:

GARDENING BASICS

BIRD HABITAT NECESSITIES

MONTHLY TIPS AND REMINDERS

Download these Action Plans:

Reduce pesticide use
Conserve water

Protect water quality

Remove exotic plant pests

Plant native species

Minimize lawn