Making Your Habitat Neighbor-Friendly
The concepts of using native plants and reducing your lawn may seem strange to some, since these practices do not produce the typical image of a suburban yard. However, following these tips may encourage your neighbors to try new gardening practices and may help you to avoid misunderstandings regarding your natural landscaping.
- Before you start your wildlife habitat project, explain to your neighbors what natural landscaping is and the aesthetic and ecological benefits it may bring to your neighborhood.
- Try completing one section of your yard at a time. Starting small gives neighbors time to get accustomed to your yard's new look.
- Add human touches to your garden. Bird baths, benches, and water features add interest and enjoyment that draw people into the natural landscape.
- Well-designed borders, paths, hedges, plant islands and fencing frame the features of the garden and provide a neat appearance that your neighbors will appreciate.
- In your garden plans, include a search for Homeowners' Association rules, community covenants or local weed ordinances that may apply to your property. For instance, many localities require that lawns be kept under a maximum height. If you find rules are out-of-date or overly restrictive, work to get them revised.
- Limit the number of bird feeders to only a few per acre. Rake up spilled bird seed and hulls weekly.
- Do not leave food outdoors for other animals (including pets). The native plants and water that you provide in your Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site are sufficient food sources to support insects, birds, and other wild visitors.