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5 Ways To Create A Wildlife-Friendly Backyard

by Sheila Vasquez

If you're like most people, you've been hearing a lot lately about the importance of providing habitat for wildlife in our outdoor living spaces. This doesn't mean that you've got to give over your entire yard to wildlife — you can still have a pleasant outdoor environment for human friends and family to enjoy while providing some wildlife-friendly amenities for non-domestic furry friends. Following are five ways you can help local wildlife.

Plant Native Flowers, Shrubs, and Trees

Animals and plants evolved together, so try to plant as many native species as you can, especially flowering plants. Their seeds provide food for wild birds, and their nectar helps keep pollinator populations healthy. Native shrubs and trees provide nesting habitat as well. 

Leave a Fallen Log or Two 

Naturally, you're not going to want a fallen log in the middle of your yard, but leaving one or two on the edges of your property provides a place for small creatures to create dens. It can also create a picturesque view if done well.

Add a Water Feature to Your Lawn 

Clean, fresh water is an important feature in a wildlife-friendly outdoor environment. Because natural water sources are scarce in urban and suburban residential areas, adding a birdbath or a small pond provides an important resource. Choosing water features that automatically recycle water keeps available supplies clean and fresh and conserves water. 

Plant Fruit and Nut Trees

Besides creating a source of the freshest possible fare for the family table, planting fruit and nut trees will provide nourishment for local wildlife. However, try to plant a variety of trees that produce fruit and nuts throughout different times of the year. Early cherries, for instance, provide food for wildlife in the early part of summer, while walnuts start producing in autumn. Berries are another excellent source of food for wildlife and often produce well into autumn. 

Keep Winter Food Needs in Mind 

Consider adding sumac trees as well, because their fruit remains on the tree throughout winter, providing a source of emergency food for birds during times of bleak weather conditions. Many people are diligent about creating a wildlife habitat during the summer months but fail to consider the needs of the animals during winter, so consider planting hawthorne, sumac, crabapple, holly, and highbush cranberry to your landscape for the purpose of providing winter sustenance. Please feel free to contact your local residential design company for more information on how you can create a backyard haven that nurtures both humans and wildlife.   

For more information, contact local professionals like The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors.