INVITATION TO CONSERVE THE EARTH - LOCALLY
Homegrown National Parktm movement is a new approach to environmental conservation that starts where we live and work! By creating natural habitats of biological corridors between parks and preserves, and private and public landscapes, local communities can proliferate pollinators needed for reproduction of 85% of the world's plants.
The idea of the Homegrown National Parktm is that if you plant native plants, you created a wildlife oasis whether you are in the heart of a busy city, or you are out in the countryside. Native plants are best suited to the birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife in your area.
Pollinators are in peril from loss of habitat due to urbanization that diminishes ecosystems of native plants. Native plant's flowers provide more pollen and nectar for critical survival of a wide range of butterflies, bees, beetles and birds. Hybrid plant varieties are typically bred for aesthetics which will sometimes sacrifice a plants production of nectar and pollen.
Native Blueberry Bee
Redbud Project's Participation
To participate in the national movement to connect 20 million acres of natural habitats for plants and animals across the United States, Redbud Project volunteers created or enhanced landscapes of some 90 private and public sites. These sites crisscrossed the 274,560 acres of Hall County, turning "urbanized food deserts" into desserts for pollinators. The Redbud Project program supports the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Georgia Grown project to increase the state's pollinator population
How to Create Habitat
Anyone can participate in Homegrown National Park(tm) for minimal time, cost and effort, following advice from entomologist Douglas Tallamy, who envisioned the grassroots approach to conservation.
Expand your landscape by shrinking biological unproductive lawns. Lawns fragment natural landscapes across America because they offer little or nothing of value to the bees, birds, frogs and other creatures of the natural surroundings. The work we do to cultivate our lawns could be much better spent planting native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. A reasonable target for interested homeowners is to reduce your lawn by 50%.
Plant keystone genera which are the backbone of ecosystems that produce food that fuels insects.
Plant groups of 4 to 6 plants of three species for each season - spring, summer, fall.
Leave leaf litter where 90% of pollinators drop on the ground and pupate in duff.
Do not spray native plants or use systemic poisons that kill insects when herbs bloom. Chemicals used, often flow into our public water systems.
Do Not Fertilize - Fertilizer is not needed when you create soil rich organic matter that is sufficient for healthy plants.
Cut back flowering perennials after they go to seed in late fall to promote reseeding. These seeds also benefit birds who feed on them through the winter months.
Biologist Eric Duncan donated over 3000 pollinator plants from 20 different species for this movement in Hall County, GA
Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) is host to many species of insects. Birds feast on the caterpillars in spring and summer. Blooming late summer into fall, they provide nectar to help bees build winter food storage and provide food for bird and other animals.
White Oak (Quercus alba) supports over 534 species of moth and butterfly caterpillars
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is the primary bush for supporting the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar
Register your own habitat on the map!
“In the United States, lawn irrigation consumes an average of eight billion gallons of water daily,” and “Forty percent of the chemicals used by the lawn-care industry are banned in other countries because they are carcinogenic.”
(Tallamy, Doug. Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation in your Yard