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Making Your Habitat Neighbor-Friendly

Certified Wildlife Habitat

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 If you find rules are out-of-date or overly restrictive, work to get them revised.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.

Download our "Neighbor-Friendly Gardening Tipsheet (pdf)

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