May is the perfect time to make your yard wildlife friendly.
Whether you have an apartment balcony or a 20-acre farm, you can create a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in commercial and residential areas. Your garden can help wildlife by providing food, water, cover and a place to raise their young.
How to Create a Wildlife-Friendly Garden
Everyone needs to eat! Planting native forbs, shrubs and trees is the easiest way to provide the foliage, nectar, pollen, berries, seeds and nuts that many species of wildlife require to survive and thrive. You can also incorporate supplemental feeders and food sources.
Wildlife need clean water sources for many purposes, including drinking, bathing and reproduction. Water sources may include natural features such as ponds, lakes, rivers, springs, oceans and wetlands; or human-made features such as bird baths, puddling areas for butterflies, installed ponds or rain gardens.
Wildlife require places to hide in order to feel safe from people, predators and inclement weather. Use things like native vegetation, shrubs, thickets and brush piles or even dead trees.
Wildlife need a sheltered place to raise their offspring. Many places for cover can double as locations where wildlife can raise young, from wildflower meadows and bushes where many butterflies and moths lay their eggs, or caves where bats roost and form colonies.
Wildlife thrives in a healthy habitat with the food sources appropriate to their ecosystem, clean water, and plants free from harmful chemicals. Practicing sustainable gardening with the use of native plants, water conservation, and not using pesticides or herbicides ensures wildlife abundance.
Learn more about creating a wildlife-friendly garden and how to attract wildlife to your garden by visiting the National Wildlife Federation here.