For many animal lovers, there’s simply not enough room in the house to fulfill their desire for proximity to wildlife; for those passionate about environmental sustainability, the need to expand ecologically friendly environs can last a lifetime. When animal-loving environmental advocates have some outdoor space to do with what they please, they often wonder what it would take to create an ecologically friendly wildlife habitat in their backyard.
You might be surprised at how easy it is to create a safe wildlife space right in your backyard! With just a few simple steps, you can turn your backyard into an eco-friendly refuge where critters feel safe and secure, soil health (and its carbon storage) is off the charts, and mother nature reigns supreme. This guide will walk you through the process of creating a natural, sustainable habitat that encourages wildlife to visit and stay for years to come.
Assess Your Backyard
The first step in creating a wildlife refuge is assessing your backyard’s space, contents, and current condition. Take a look around to get an idea of the terrain and existing vegetation. Is there grass, shrubs, trees, or other plants? Are there animal trails or signs that animals have been visiting? This will help you determine what kind of habitat you need to create.
Identifying any potential hazards or issues that could impact the habitat is another important part of assessing your backyard. There might be nails, screws, and other construction debris on or near the yard’s surface, which could harm visiting wildlife in addition to detracting from the environment. There are many advantages to buying a new construction home, but the construction debris that typically comes with them can take away from the ecology of your habitat.
Create a Habitat for Wildlife
Once you understand the existing state of your backyard, you can start to create a habitat for wildlife. Start by selecting plants that will attract birds, butterflies, and other animals. Native plants are often best since they have natural adaptations that make them more attractive to local species; an added benefit of native plants is the higher likelihood of long-term survival. Remember that variety is also key when selecting plants for your backyard habitat. This will encourage diversity in the habitat and in the wildlife that visits it.
You can also provide food sources such as bird feeders or flower nectar and a water source like a bird bath or small pond. Additionally, consider adding logs, rocks, or other natural features to create a safe space for animals. This will encourage them to visit and remain in your backyard.
Reduce Your Environmental Impact
Creating a wildlife refuge is not only beneficial for animals but also for the environment. To reduce your footprint and make your backyard as sustainable as possible, consider using natural pest control methods instead of harsh chemicals.
Composting is one of the most significant difference-makers in reducing your habitat’s environmental impact. By doing so, you’ll greatly reduce your household waste, and you won’t have to buy expensive soil thanks to your composting soil yield.
Finally, ensuring a sustainable water source to maintain your habitat is vital. Installing a rain barrel or cistern for rainwater collection and irrigation is a game-changer. It will save you a bit on your water bill, reduce your home’s environmental footprint, and keep your habitat well-watered.
Encourage Wildlife Visitation
Finally, the last step is to encourage wildlife visitation. You’ll want to do your best to avoid disturbing the wildlife that visits and minimize your impact on the habitat. This could look like restricting your backyard recreation to a certain area and keeping foot traffic minimal.
Another way to encourage visitation is by allowing for the natural growth of plants, leaves, and debris that can serve as food and shelter for wildlife. Easier said than done for many who like a neat and clean backyard, this is another way to minimize habitat disruption.
Finally, do your best to resist what might be the greatest temptation regarding your backyard habitat: feeding wildlife directly. Doing so can harm their health, and if they become reliant on your direct provision of food, their survival ability outside of your backyard could suffer.
Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat Awaits
By following these steps, you can make your backyard the perfect eco-friendly home for various wildlife. Creating a backyard wildlife habitat is one of the most environmentally beneficial things you can do as a homeowner, so why wait? Get started on your ecologically friendly backyard today!