Abundant Plants, Abundant Wildlife

Photo © plant4wildlife

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.

Louisville Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photo © Devan King

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.

On April 29, 2015 the Nature Works Everywhere program and the NYC chapter hosted a garden build at public school PS811x in the Bronx. Event activities included building raised beds for pollinator habitat, composting and mulching. CSX, corporate sponsor of

Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Jonathan Grassi)

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.

The Brightside Organization, The Nature Conservancy, UPS and Brown-Forman partnered to plant 150 trees along West Broadway from 20th Street to the end at Shawnee Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photo © Devan King

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.


Photo © The Nature Conservancy(Samantha Pinkham)

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
Edible Gardens
Evergreen Trees
Pollinator Garden
Rain Garden
Street Median
An Abandoned Lot