Wildlife

“Garden as if your life depends upon it.”

— Dr. Doug Tallamy
Entomologist, University of Delaware

Close up of bee on purple flower Photo by: Adam Reinstein

CWH Sign Photo by: Marc Williams

Let's cultivate real impact together.

Best of all, you have the power to make this change happen. And reverse habitat loss. The land where wildlife live is replaced by millions of acres of urban and suburban development each year. The truth is, key wildlife species that visit our backyards and communities are disappearing. Native plants are those that have formed tight relationships with wildlife over thousands of years and create the most productive and sustainable place for wildlife to live. But they need a helping hand.

The good news: wildlife presence can double within one season. Studies on wildlife gardening show that wildflower gardens support wildlife by providing food, water, cover, and places to raise young. Talk about a comeback story.

 

Keystone plants can change the planet.

Change is more than possible. Keystone plants are natives that support the 90% of butterflies, moths, and up to 60% native bees in a specific ecoregion. Much of this wildlife is also responsible for supporting over three-quarters of all flowering plants, thanks to their pollination powers. The plants they support provide a third of the food we eat.

Field of yellow native plants and flowers

Monarch butterfly resting on native plant Photo by: Linda Abrams

Build a home for butterflies and moths.

By gardening for wildlife, you aren’t just creating beauty, you’re becoming a hotelier for caterpillars, butterflies, and moths. Many flowering plants, shrubs, trees and grasses are places where wildlife lay their eggs and feed their young.

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Did you know?

The monarch butterfly can only survive on the native milkweed plant.

Be a hero to bee populations.

Gardening can help save your soul. It can save bees, as well. Did you know that specific native plants are responsible for supplying 30 percent of native bees the food their young need to survive? Bring joy to yourself, your family, and the bees.

Close up of bee pollinator on flower Photo by: Edward Episcopo
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Did you know?

Pollen specialist, mining bees in the genus Andrena, rely on wild geranium, Geranium maculatum. Put your soil to use.

The best bird feeders are nature’s bird feeders.

As your gardening journey continues, you’ll behold beautiful flowering plants. These, along with native trees, also help birds of every kind. Keystone plants do double duty by acting as “natural bird feeders” providing caterpillars and other insects which make up the primary food source for the young of most backyard birds. Hummingbirds also love nectar from many tubular shaped flowers. Many other bird species will be attracted to your wildlife garden, like woodpeckers, and even hawks, owls, and wild turkey. All it takes is a shovel and a little time.

two birds on tree branch, one bird with a worm in mouth Photo by: Kathrin Swoboda
 

Quick Facts About Wildlife

 
Bird drinking water Birds

Since 1970, one third of North American Bird populations have declined. Backyard birds rely on thousands of caterpillars supplied by native plants.

Photo Credit: Anne Owen

Bee taking pollen from flower Bees

Roughly 30% of 4,000 native bee species are pollen specialists that restrict their diets to specific plants.

Butterfly taking pollen from flower Butterflies

The monarch butterfly that relies on native milkweed has declined by 90%.