Planting trees in your yard will improve nesting habitats for birds and save you money on heating and cooling your home if placed strategically. Planting native trees, shrubs, grasses, and plants look great and also provides food for birds, butterflies, mammals, and many other critters. Water is an effective way to draw wildlife to your backyard. A small pond can be a scenic addition that provides habitat to frogs, turtles, birds, fish, and aquatic plants.
Conservation Work for Monarch Butterflies
"The monarch is one of the most familiar butterflies in North America. The orange-and-black butterfly is known for its annual, multi-generational migration from Mexico to as far north as Canada. Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed to lay their eggs during the journey.
But monarch populations have decreased significantly over the past two decades, in part because of the decrease in native plants, including milkweed, on which their caterpillars feed. Agriculture and development have removed much of the native milkweed that once spanned the country.
Because monarch butterflies are always on the move, they need to have the right plants at the right time along their migration route. Caterpillars need to feed on milkweed to complete their life cycle, and adult butterflies need the right nectar producing plants in bloom for needed energy." (Source: NRCS)
Conservation Work for Honey Bees
"One out of every three bites of food in the United States depends on honey bees and other pollinators. Honey bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops each year, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. Managed honey bees are important to American agriculture because they pollinate a wide variety of crops, contributing to food diversity, security and profitability.
But during the past 50 years, the number of managed honey bees have declined. Each winter since 2006, about 30 percent of beehives collapsed because of disease, parasites, poor nutrition, pesticide exposure and other issues.
NRCS is working with agricultural producers to combat future declines by helping them to implement conservation practices that provide forage for honey bees while enhancing habitat for other pollinators and wildlife and improving the quality of water, air and soil." (Source: NRCS)
For more information:
Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (National Wildlife Federation)
Wildlife Habitat Fact Sheets (Indiana Department of Natural Resources)
Backyard Conservation (Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Purdue University's Turfgrass Website
Your county's local Purdue Cooperative Extension office can provide additional written and video information on lawn and turf care.
The Purdue Extension Home*A*Syst & Healthy Homes website