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  • Blossom


Habitat loss due to urbanization can seem like an issue spun out of our control. Many of our lives revolve around urban centers and the countless opportunities they provide for us, and we might imagine cities to be areas that wildlife skirt around. But even in our bustling city centers there's a way to create space for wildlife - and it's easy! Watch as hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies flutter back into your neighborhood.

The dirt on how to create your own habitat garden:

1. Remove invasive plants

Invasives disrupt the natural ecosystem process by displacing native plants and reducing biodiversity. So pull out those blackberries and ivy!

2. Plant natives

By planting species that are adapted to our rainy winters and dry summers, you're creating a lower maintenance yard, saving water, and providing food and shelter for species that are indigenous to our area. Don't worry, your garden doesn't need to be 100% natives to make an impact!

3. Less chemicals

The goal is no pesticides but if you already have steps one and two down, your garden includes hardy native plants and you're less likely to attract pests or need to fertilize.

4. Take care of water

Managing stormwater can look like disconnecting your downspouts and creating a rain garden, putting an ecoroof on your shed, or taking out your lawn and replacing it with plants. There are so many ways to get water back to the earth!

Design + Photo: Blossom

This rain garden will allow runoff from a roof to infiltrate back into the soil.

Photo + Design: Blossom

5. Look out for wildlife

Wildflowers feed your local pollinators while boulders and snags provide them with a home. Migrating birds will thank you for reducing your outdoor lighting during their travels and keep them on course. Adding a water feature to your garden for the relaxing vibes also helps birds and insects stay hydrated. There are so many ways you can watch out for your neighborhood wildlife.

This wildflower meadow provides nectar and habitat for pollinators.

Design + Photo: Blossom

Check out this map of habitat gardens in Portland and surrounding areas. It goes to show that when we work together we can create whole corridors for wildlife to move through!

Source: Backyard Habitat Certification Program

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