We Can Do It!

What’s in the Garden:

If we all join forces, we have a chance to accomplish something life affirming right in our own back yards. We need to ensure a future for the powerful pollinators that impact our lives every day. It’s time we made the connection between pollinators like birds, bees, bats, moths, and butterflies and the foods and beverages we consume.

DonTorinoWhat do pollinators do? Pollinators transfer pollen between and among flowers. This simple action leads to the fertilization — and ultimately the successful production — of a dizzying number of seeds and fruits that allow us to enjoy everything from Apples and Coffee to Almonds and Tequila.

This Thursday, July 7 at 7 p.m., Bergen County Audubon Society President Don Torino will be on hand to discuss some simple steps we can take to restore habitat starting in our own yards and gardens. Please stop by to hear his program on how native plants provide essential food and shelter for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

BCAS has been working on multiple habitat restoration gardens in Bergen County in recent years. As an extension of that mission, the organization is encouraging local residents to take part in the Certified Wildlife Garden program. Everyone from homeowners, schools/universities, nature centers, businesses, houses of worship, and even entire communities are invited to take steps to have their gardens certified by BCAS.

Certified gardens must include food, water, cover, and places to raise young.

Each certified garden will be given a number and marked on a map, which will be available online at www.bergencountyaudubon.org.

When considering a food source for your back yard habitat, BCAS recommends native plants, trees, and shrubs that help sustain wildlife and support biodiversity. Feeders may also be included in your restoration project, but are considered optional food sources.

Several types of Digitalis/Foxglove are excellent additions to a garden habitat. Digitalis is our current Perennial of the Week, so you’ll save 20% on these tall, lovely plants.Asclepias-Butterfly

Milkweed, the Monarch Butterfly’s only known host plant, is highly recommended.

Be sure to include a clean water source that is accessible throughout the year.

Provide cover to shelter wildlife from predators and inclement weather.

Give wildlife a chance to safely raise their young. Nest boxes are a great option.

Leave the leaves: Use fallen leaves as mulch to provide cover and food.

Avoid or remove invasive plants that crowd out native species. Some examples include:

  • Garlic Mustard
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Mile a Minute Vine
  • Multiflora Rose
  • Porcelainberry

Perfect timing: Plant your garden habitat so there is always something blooming.

Ready to join the habitat restoration movement? We would love to help you learn more and look forward to seeing you this Thursday at 7 p.m!

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