I’m Jamie Weiss the Habitat Heroes Coordinator for Audubon Rockies based out of the regional office in Fort Collins. Habitat Heroes are people who practice a form of landscape stewardship, called ‘wildscaping’ – landscaping designed to attract and benefit birds, pollinators and other wildlife, large and small that help create bird-friendly communities. Whether the landscape you tend to is a residential yard, a few pots on a balcony, a public park or schoolyard garden, Habitat Heroes believe in growing a healthy community. By combating the loss of open spaces and creating green corridors that link your wildscape to larger natural areas by providing habitat for wildlife we can feel good about doing something positive for ourselves, the environment and our wild friends.
Below are 3 Bighorn Audubon Society Habitat Heroes – Jenny Williams, Molly Clark, and Cel Hope:
“Many think of service as service to people but how about service to the planet, to our ecosystem? Wildscaping, what I call restoration ecology is replacing non-native plants with native plants and building habitat for wild animals. It is satisfying rewarding work. It is not easy.” Jenny, Big Horn Wyoming
“Imagine a planet without pollinators? Bees have been around for approximately 120,000,000 years, while humans have only populated the earth for approximately 200,000 years. Bees need flowers, flowers need bees, and we need bees and flowers – but bees do not need us – that is until now. . . Understanding our impact on the bees’ future survival should put things into the proper, if rather humbling, perspective. If we hope to reverse our negative impact on bee population and native habitats, we need to protect whatever remains, including the flowers, and attempt to restore some of the habitats we have displaced.”
Molly, Big Horn Wyoming
Below is a Bighorn Audubon Society Habitat Hero nomination for next year:
“My home is a sanctuary for diverse wildlife. I have planted over 1,000 trees and shrubs since 1982, which provide the habitat diversity many woodland species require. The trees are the bones of my micro-ecosystem and the shrubs are the meat. The fruit-bearing shrubs are my refrigerator for wildlife, often providing food throughout the winter months. I practice what is called “permaculture- a design of cultivating native plant communities for birds and wildlife based on the ecology of the Bighorns and the high plains.”
Vistara, Big Horn Wyoming
Below is a link to the landscape manual specifically designed for “Wyoming Wildscapes” compiled by Andrea Cerovski, Wyoming Game and Fish (2005), followed by a list of recommended books:
Books: Tallamy, D. W. 2007. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Timber Press Inc., Portland, OR.
Adams, G. 2013. Gardening For Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard, Timber Press Inc., Portland, OR.
Burns, D. 2011. Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. The Xerces Society, Story Publishing, North Adams, MA.