Habitats Wild & Urban
Habitat restoration is critical in urban and suburban settings where commercial and residential development has impacted all natural areas. Native landscapes and areas positively impact the quality of the environment by improving air, water, and soil quality throughout the community while providing habitat for local & migratory wildlife, birds, and insects.
Most of our open spaces are in poor condition due to land management practices that have not been compatible with retention or protection of native plant communities. These disturbed conditions provide ripe opportunity for introduced, noxious, and invasive species to out-compete naturally occurring native plants. One example is Leafy Spurge, Euphorbia esula; it came to America more than 100 years ago as an ornamental that people grew in their yards. It can reach three feet tall and its roots can grow more than twenty feet. This perennial noxious weed readily adapts to most environments, and has doubled in acreage every ten years since the early 1900’s. This plant is an economic and environmental catastrophe: it reduces rangeland productivity and plant diversity wherever it gets a foothold.
Traditional landscapes are static collections of plants requiring constant maintenance to remain aesthetically pleasing and viable. Americans are estimated to spend $27 billion a year on lawn care alone. The average lawn requires 9000 gallons of water per week, and 5-10 lbs of fertilizer per year. Also most traditional landscapes are filled with introduced species that are completely alien and unusable as a food source for local wildlife. Native landscapes are dynamic living entities providing food sources for wildlife while requiring less fertilizer, less water, and consuming fewer resources all around. Native landscaping works with rather than against nature.
Establishing native plants in your landscape and properties welcome birds, butterflies, and pollinators back into your environment.