Jericho Habitat Garden Network

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Jericho is going WILD!

Are you interested in making your garden landscape more friendly for wildlife such as pollinators, birds, and others?

The Jericho Conservation Commission has created this page to provide educational materials and methods for homeowners who want to improve the ecological benefits that their gardens provide.

Small changes you make in your garden can have a big impact for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. If enough of us take part we can create a network of gardens to make connected habitats for wildlife.

If you create a habitat garden please let us know by placing a pin on the map (click on the "Map" tab below).

Jericho is going WILD!

Are you interested in making your garden landscape more friendly for wildlife such as pollinators, birds, and others?

The Jericho Conservation Commission has created this page to provide educational materials and methods for homeowners who want to improve the ecological benefits that their gardens provide.

Small changes you make in your garden can have a big impact for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. If enough of us take part we can create a network of gardens to make connected habitats for wildlife.

If you create a habitat garden please let us know by placing a pin on the map (click on the "Map" tab below).

  • Firefly Conservation (click here for full article)

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    From the Xerces Society Website:

    Most firefly researchers agree that habitat loss and degradation, light pollution, pesticide use, and climate change are the leading threats to fireflies. Despite concerns about potential population declines, fireflies have received relatively little conservation attention. You can help initiate this important conversation by advocating for fireflies in your community, participating in community science projects that track their distributions, and taking steps at home to turn out your lights at night and identify, protect, and restore high-quality firefly habitat.

    Everyone can contribute to firefly conservation. For detailed recommendations, check out our conservation guidelines and other resources highlighted below. Here are some simple actions you can take today:

    • Provide habitat! Set aside a part of your yard or garden where things can get a little wild
    • Avoid pesticide use, which can kill fireflies and their prey or degrade habitat
    • Turn off your outdoor lights at night, especially during the summer firefly season
    • Contribute to our collective firefly knowledge by participating in a community science project
    • Spread the word and let others know about fireflies and their needs
    • Donate to the Xerces Society, which is working to conserve fireflies


    Read more here: Xerces Society Guidelines for Protecting Fireflies

    Other Firefly Resources:

    click here for Firefly Conservation and Research

    click here for International Dark Sky Association

  • Plants for Birds (click here for full article)

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    How can plants help birds? Did you know that most songbirds rear their chicks on insect caterpillars? Caterpillars are little packets of protein, fat, and nutrients and in a garden with native plants they will be abundant. University of Delaware professor, Dr. Doug Tallamy, has shown that a pair of Black-Capped Chickadees need to catch between 6000 and 9000 little caterpillars to raise a single clutch. That is a lot of caterpillars!

    Having the right native plants in your home landscape can help birds find the food they need to raise their young.

    North American plants and insects have coevolved over millennia to have a complex relationship. Every native plant has some form of insect that uses the leaves as food for its own development and to protect themselves plants have natural chemical defense systems that keep the insects from having an overall net-negative impact

    The insect larvae either go on to become adult moths or butterflies, etc.


    Virginia Ctenucha Moth

    and they are all part of the food web as bird food.


    .


    Plants from outside this ecosystem, which were introduced by humans and planted in our home landscapes within the last hundred years or so, and are not naturally found in North America do not contribute to this food web because the native insect populations haven't evolved to use them as food so therefore, the non-native plants don't support native caterpillar development.

    Some of the best plants to help birds are native trees. Dr. Tallamy's research has shown that the trees which support the most insect life are NATIVE varieties of: Oaks (support 534 species of Lepidoptera - butterflies and moths), Willows (support 456 species) Cherries (support 456 species), Birches (support 413 species). If you can plant any of these in your garden you will help birds and insects.

    Plants that have fruit and seed heads also provide important food for birds as they migrate and to sustain them during winter months.


    Audubon has a great tool to help you find plants native to Vermont that support birds. It will generate a list and tell you which local nurseries carry the plants. Click here to find PLANTS FOR BIRDS


  • How to Decrease the Size of Your Lawn (click here for full article)

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    Lawns are the dominant feature of most of our home gardens, but they do very little to provide ecosystem services (i.e. benefits to wildlife) and they carry a large carbon footprint when managed with traditional methods. We 'produce' a LOT of lawn in the United States. Estimates place the amount of lawn we cultivate between 3 and 4 times the amount of any other crop.

    Did you know that: Each hour of gasoline-powered lawn mowing generates as much pollution as driving a gas engine car nearly 100 miles!

    There are ways to decrease the size of your lawn and increase the biodiversity of plants and animals that use your home landscape. A first step is to start thinking of lawns as "area rugs" and not "wall to wall carpets" and keeping lawn only where you use it most by "mowing where you go" and transitioning less used sections into non-lawn areas.

    These articles provide great tips for how to get started:

    HOW TO DECREASE YOUR LAWN SIZE

    CONVERTING LAWN TO HABITAT

  • Take the Pollinator Protection Pledge here!

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    The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is inviting you to take a pledge to protect pollinators in your home landscape.

    You can join the thousands of others who are working to make their gardens friendly for pollinators and other wildlife.

    Pollinator Protection Pledge (click here)

  • Homegrown "National Park"

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    Have you transformed part of your garden into wildlife friendly habitat? Join the free Homegrown National Park effort founded by Doug Tallamy, author of Nature's Best Hope, which invites everyone to add native plants to their home landscapes and add their efforts to the collective map.

    "Our National Parks, no matter how grand in scale are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed. Thus, the concept for Homegrown National Park™, a bottom-up call-to-action to restore habitat where we live and work, and to a lesser extent where we farm and graze, extending national parks to our yards and communities.” - Doug Tallamy

    Doing this provides the ecological networks that connect preserved habitat fragments with one another sustainably enlarging populations of plants and animals.

    The map will be a community-based visual that will show each person’s individual contribution to planting native. The HGNP Map will gauge the success of reaching our goal of 20 million acres of native planting in the United States! Help us by getting Jericho represented on the map.

    Click on the image below for more information.

    HOMEGROWN NATIONAL PARK™ - Start a new HABITAT™ has no political, religious, cultural or geographic boundaries because everyone - every human being on this planet - needs diverse, highly productive ecosystems to survive.