Guardians of Habitat

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We want to share habitat inspiration! Each month, starting May 2018, we will highlight Guardians of Habitat (YOU) who are contributing to Habitat Network by sharing interesting bits of data from our citizen-science program. We are grateful for your contributions and would like to provide more snapshots of the growing movement to create habitat at home and in our communities.

September 2018: Letting Gardens Go

Our gardens start to die-back in the late summer/fall. The leaves begin to droop and in some places fall off and the tidy gardeners in us want to clean-up before winter settles in. But, the more we learn, the more we realize the value of letting our gardens go in the fall and winter to benefit wildlife.

We pulled data from the many habitat maps that are a part of Habitat Network and this is what we found:

Providing important overwintering habitat for butterflies, moths, bees and other insects

Other beneficial messy features reported by mappers include:

* 470 Snags (Standing Dead Trees)

* 1162 Brush piles

* 687 Logs

Have you told us how you leave your gardens messy for wildlife?

72% of you with maps are still a mystery, but you don’t have to be! Log in today and fill out your map details

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Leaving leaves on your property goes a long way to support biodiversity, go ahead, tell us what you do…

July & August 2018: Sustainable Lawn

Don't irrigate

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It’s summer and lawns demand our attention. Many wildlife gardeners have minimized the amount of lawn they have in favor of more beneficial habitat, but for those that enjoy a little lawn, there are steps that you can take to minimize your impact. Namely, water less and choose your mower carefully.

Data visualized

See this info graphic we made on what our database currently tells us about sustainable lawn practices among Habitat Network users.

Habitat Heroes August 2018 Graphic

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* A 1000 sq. ft of lawn requires 624 gallons of water each week to stay green. On average, each U.S. citizen uses 98 gallons of water per day.

Do you do these things too? Have you set your characteristics on your map so we know?

To see some of the unirrigated maps in more detail, explore these sites created by:

June 2018: Wildlife-Friendly Mowing

Wildlife Friendly Mowing

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Maintaining grasslands/meadows for wildlife is an essential conservation practice. Numerous species of song birds, such as Bobolinks, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, and Savannah Sparrows, as well as numerous other animals, benefit from fields that are managed using wildlife-friendly practices. The maps pictured above are a handful of those that engage in this practice.

Additional fun facts are:

  • 136 mappers engage in wildlife-friendly mowing practices.
  • Of those 136 mappers, 49 never mow their fields, which allows for long nesting seasons.
  • Total acres set by mappers as being managed using wildlife-friendly mowing practices is 450 acres.

WE KNOW THERE ARE MORE OF YOU! Have a grass habitat on your map? Set the characteristics and tell us about your mowing practices.

No Mow Properties

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These are maps from some the 49 users who do not mow their fields, thus providing safe foraging and nesting habitat for wildlife.

To see some of these maps in more detail, explore:,,,,

May 2018: Pollinator Gardens

Pollinator Garden2

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These maps are a collection of mappers who have mapped a pollinator garden in the past two months, from March 1st-May 1st (note the bright pink areas on the maps). Our 2018 spring campaign, Pitch in a Patch for Pollinators, helped to raise awareness around a growing need to create intentional gardens for bees, butterflies, moths, birds, and various other pollinators.

  • Our data reveals that 13% of our total Pollinator Gardens created in Habitat Network were made in the past two months
  • We have more than 1,200 flower patches, with 369 labeled as being intentional Pollinator Gardens.
  • In two months +1,000 people joined our Facebook Pollinator Group.
Pictures of Pollinator Areas

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Here is a collection of images from the gardeners who have uploaded pictures of their pollinator habitat in the past two months. To see more great captures from contributing Guardians of Habitat, check out our Photo Gallery. Your work is BEEautiful, well done.

To see these maps in more detail, explore:;;;;;;;