RESTON, Va. — Gardeners can now plant with a purpose by purchasing the National Wildlife Federation’s new Garden for Wildlife™ Native Plant Collections, home-delivered native plant kits backed by science to help the highest numbers of butterflies, bees, and birds. The initial rollout spans the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and part of the Midwest. The kits include native plants customized by region, garden design templates, monthly tips for success, and access to an online community of fellow gardeners.
“The number of people gardening for wildlife increased by 50 percent in 2020,” said Mary Phillips, head of the Garden for Wildlife program. “We are revolutionizing the way people plant with our new Garden for Wildlife Native Plant Collections in response to this fast-growing demand to help people attract beautiful wildlife while making a local, quantifiable conservation impact.”
In addition to supporting and attracting pollinators spring through fall, the collections include native plant species that help feed and house 90 percent of butterfly and moth caterpillars and approximately 60 percent of native bees. Similarly, 96 percent of backyard birds rely on insect species supported by these plants. Science-based plant selection will allow gardeners to measure how many bees and butterflies their new plants can support.
With wildlife populations rapidly declining as more than a million acres of urban and suburban habitat are lost to development annually, increasing the scale of native plants in backyards and home gardens is critical. Scientific studies confirm wildlife thrive in greater numbers in areas where gardens are planted with native plants that provide floral diversity, rich nectar, pollen sources, and three-season bloom. Working with growers, Garden for Wildlife™ is innovating ways to make native plants easily available at the scale needed to reverse the effects of climate change and habitat loss.
With this new collection, gardeners in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin can now make an impact right where they live, work, play, and worship. Everyone can invite butterflies, birds and bees to their yards by replacing lawn with native plants, or creating smaller habitat oases in containers and raised beds.
For more information and to shop native plant collections, visit gardenforwildlife.org.
For almost 50 years, the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ program has educated and empowered people to plant with the purpose of saving wildlife. Americans of all backgrounds have already provided wildlife with food, water, cover, and places to raise young by creating over 250,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats®. National Wildlife Federation offers a range of options to help support local wildlife and to restore and reconnect America’s natural spaces. Opportunities to help wildlife include: Schoolyard Habitats, Eco Leaders Campus Wild, Sacred Grounds™, Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, Community Wildlife Habitats, and National Wildlife Federation State Affiliates.
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