What are you doing in your backyard?

By Brigitte Hisey - Natural Resource Specialist

Beautiful cannas were the first thing I noticed at Linda Hamilton’s home. Her husband digs up the bulbs every year and they continue to get bigger. Perfect for hummingbirds.

Linda’s grandfather 10 years ago gave her milkweed seeds to plants. He said that the butterflies liked the plant. Today, people are planting milkweed to help the monarch butterflies.

The Hamiltons have taken conservation one step further by planting at least half of their property in wildflowers and trees. The fall goldenrod that is growing will provide a late season feast for bees and butterflies. Planting native goldenrod in your yard as tall species boarders is a great conservation practice.

Linda has also planted many native species of shrubs like beauty berry, which is great for wildlife and has pulled the bush honeysuckle which is an invasive species. The birds have a lot of food in the yard from the sunflowers that they grow in the garden to the feeders they put out in the winter. Bird houses also provide a home for the tree swallows that are around the property.

Home owners interested in planting a prairie area in their backyard should contact our office. Seth Rankin from Pheasants Forever and our office are interested in creating more wildlife habitat. Putting an area in flowers and grasses offers a wildlife benefit as well as less mowing.

Lastly, Linda’s son has created a rain garden. Water from the sump pump is channeled into a basin away from the house. Cattails grow along the channel, and frogs and even a heron have shown up to check out the water.

From cover crops in the garden, bird houses, and rain barrels, Linda is practicing good conservation. If you are interested in a Backyard Conservation Audit, contact the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District and speak with Brigitte Hisey, Natural Resource Specialist at 740-636-0279. We can give you ideas for your backyard. Be inspired!


By Brigitte Hisey

Natural Resource Specialist