Our wish for this project is to inspire the residents of our borough to include native plant species in their landscapes. We hope to model a successful habitat that continually (year-round) sustains native wildlife while also beautifying the stretch of busily traveled highway proceeding through the center of our town.
We will eliminate unnecessary lawn and plant a number of the following valuable native species in the front and side yards of our property: Eastern Red Cedars, Joe Pye Weed, Butterfly Weed, Witch Hazel, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Red Chokeberry, Arrow-wood, Rose Milkweed, Mountain Mint and Elderberry.
This combination of native flowers, shrubs and trees will serve many purposes. They will provide food and shelter for a number of species from insects to birds to mammals. By supporting these native animals we will naturally increase the spread of native plant species rather than invasives.
Our support of native populations will help to prevent imminent extinction (in other words, we will support every level of the food chain). Providing host plants for insects prevents species loss, and a multitude of insects provides food for birds. Keeping up populations of native species of birds will help prevent invasive species from dominating. Converting under-utilized lawn to flowers, shrubs will eliminate carbon dioxide emissions (little need to use the lawnmower).
By planting and nurturing a wildlife habitat in the center of town, we will (hopefully) encourage and inspire other residents of our community to do the same! As pedestrians use our public sidewalk and motor vehicles pass on the busy stretch of highway, we hope those seeing our thriving habitat might desire something similar at their own property. We hope to create a pamphlet to print and place in our public library that lists readily-available native species as well as their benefits.