- September 21, 2016
Increasing the area covered by plants in your yard or community has many benefits for you and wildlife. This is a foundational theme in our work at Habitat Network where we consistently advocate for more areas to be landscaped with plant-life to increase access for wildlife, like this Monarch caterpillar enjoying Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) in a native flower bed.
The positive impacts of increasing plant cover include, but are not limited to, more efficient stormwater management by decreasing impervious hardscapes through bioswales or rain gardens, creating needed habitat for pollinators, and encouraging a diversity of structure to maximize the utility of spaces for birds and other wildlife.
In urban areas, arguably the most in need of adopting this goal, street medians can be replaced with native flowers, an abandoned lot can be managed for invasives or rebuilt as a neighborhood garden, or concrete backyards can be de-paved and replaced with vegetation. Increasing the area covered by plants on your site might be as simple as adding your favorite plants to a planter on your balcony, replacing a portion of lawn with a flowerbed, or taking on the stewardship of a community garden plot. Regardless of whether you add plants that yield garden-ripe, produce or you focus on native trees and shrubs–anything that draws you to green-up in the landscape is likely to have beneficial impacts.
Wherever you live, whatever your passion regarding greening your surroundings, keep up the important work of transforming our landscapes. And, don’t forget to map your efforts in the Habitat Network.
Explore these articles for extensive ideas about how to increase the amount of area covered by plants in your yard or community.
Native Trees and Shurbs
An Abandoned Lot