Wildlife Habitat: Not Just for Corporate Landscapes

By Colleen Beaty, Manager, Conservation Content and Partnerships|June 20, 2013

Firewheel is just one of many colorful, attractive plants that your team could encourage employees to plant at their homes.

Firewheel is just one of many colorful, attractive plants that your team could encourage employees to plant at their homes.

My parents are both big fans of having wildlife in their yard, especially songbirds, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Even the squirrels, which eat the suet they leave out for the birds, are a great source of amusement (as well as consternation).

So over the last few years, I’ve had fun helping Mom and Dad to phase native wildflowers into their landscaping, giving them suggestions on plant species to buy and where to put them in the yard, and helping them identify the animals that they see. Although, I can’t quite convince Mom to get rid of the non-native butterfly bush, however aggressively it may try to take over the front yard, but I sure keep trying.

The fun doesn’t end with their gardens, though. When I found the non-native, invasive plant garlic mustard in their backyard, I showed my Dad what it looks like and how to tell it apart from the native violets that grow all over the lawn. Now he pulls it whenever he finds it and seems to largely have it under control.
And I learned all about the benefits of native landscaping and invasive plant control at work!

What I’m trying to say is that habitat enhancement doesn’t have to begin and end on your site with your Wildlife Team’s projects. Being part of a Wildlife at Work program gives you and your fellow team members the unique opportunity to encourage your fellow coworkers to try habitat projects at home, giving your Wildlife at Work program an even great positive impact on the local environment.

Perhaps you could work with a local plant supplier to host native plant sales or giveaways to make it easy for them to add native plants into their gardens. Or maybe your team could host a workshop where employees build single-chamber bat houses and receive instructions on how to install them on the side of their home in order to attract bats. The possibilities are endless!

Read more WHC blogs.