Home Nature preserves Red-tail calls on the community to create personal pocket nature reserves

Red-tail calls on the community to create personal pocket nature reserves

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MUNCIE, Ind. – Red-tail Land Conservancy seeks individuals and organizations in East Central Indiana who have natural yards to apply Growing Home Habitat Certification before the July 31 submission deadline.

Red-tail’s Growing Home Backyard Habitat Program is designed to empower community members to rethink how their yard or garden can also serve birds, bees, butterflies and more. beneficial wild animals, according to a statement.

Once an outdoor space meets the criteria for a healthy habitat, the owner can request that it be reviewed and certified by a committee of flora and fauna specialists. The Growing Home Committee that evaluates each application includes a nursery manager, botanist, wildlife biologist, invasive plant removal specialist, master gardeners and environmental science educators. These specialists who serve on the committee on a voluntary basis include residents of Delaware, Henry and Randolph counties.

Features that must be in place for Growing Home certification include food, water, cover, and native plants that benefit wildlife. Habitats must also be at least 50 square feet, free of invasive species on Indiana List of Prohibited Plantsand located in east central Indiana.

“It may seem daunting at first, but many people already meet the criteria or are very close,” Kelley V. Phillips, Red-tail’s communications and outreach manager, said in the statement. ” We created a guide that walks through each step, explaining why a certain aspect is important to wildlife and ideas on how to fill it in.

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People whose outdoor space is certified receive a certificate and have the option of purchasing a Habitat-certified yard sign. This fall, Red-tail will offer an exclusive event for the Growing Home community with ongoing education and Q&A with experts.

“The beautiful certificate and charming yard sign are great ways to show appreciation for the thought and work someone is doing to attract and support wildlife. But the real reward is knowing your efforts are making a difference between survival and stress for our local and migratory wildlife. If everyone were to turn just part of their yard into a place that serves birds, bees and butterflies, our community would create a patchwork of re-wild in response to increasing habitat loss,” Phillips said in the statement.

The program began in 2021 and has certified 35 habitats in Delaware, Henry, Randolph and Wayne counties. Red-tail Land Conservancy hopes to add 40 more in 2022.

The Growing Home guide, certification details, submission process and application can be found by visiting www.ForTheLand.org/GrowingHome. Information: 765-288-2587 or [email protected].