Our wish is to further harmonious coexistence between the wild and domestic animals who inhabit backyards and barnyards in our area. Our innovative Predator Prevention and Education Barnyard Program (PEEP) demonstrates safe, affordable habitats for domestic animals that eliminate the need to trap, shoot, or poison wild animals who might prey on them. We now want to build on the PEEP program by engaging children and adults in hands-on gardening activities that promote well-being of both wild and domestic species.
Educational exhibits at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue have been expanded to include an Education Barnyard area which provides model housing and fencing for cats, dogs, and other domestic species (e.g., chickens, rabbits, goats) common to suburban and rural areas. The living spaces for these animals are predator-proofed, based on the most up-to-date techniques available. The exhibit promotes understanding of the habits of predator species and equips educational visitors with feasible alternatives to lethal means of dealing with “nuisance” wildlife. The exhibit also illustrates how appropriate containment can prevent domestic animals from harming wild species (e.g., predation of birds by free-roaming cats).
In this proposal, we are asking for Roots and Shoots support to add a garden component to the PEEP project. Junior volunteers and their families who work in the garden will learn how to humanely deter unwanted wildlife like gophers and how to attract garden-beneficial wildlife such as bees and butterflies. The garden will also provide food for both the wild and domestic animals housed at SCWR. Grant funds will be used to purchase supplies to build and equip the garden such as gopher wire and materials to build the raised planting beds.