Simple Action: Share your yard with wildlife

Published April 21, 2010

Today's Simple Action is to share your yard with wildlife. Spring has arrived, and for many, yard maintenance and gardening has been added to the weekly to-do lists. There are very simple things you can do in your yard that will make a world of difference for our environment and wildlife.

 Americans directly apply 70 million pounds of pesticides to home lawns and gardens each year and, in so doing, kill birds and other wildlife and pollute our precious water resources. Instead of using pesticides, control insects using natural controls.

Also, plant native trees and shrubs because they use less fertilizer. Landscaping with natives, commonly referred to as "bayscaping," also provides better food and shelter for wildlife, and requires less maintenance. These plants are adapted to local soil, rainfall and temperature conditions, and have developed natural defenses to many insects and diseases. Because of these traits, native plants will grow with minimal use of water, fertilizers and pesticides. 

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Park located outside of the Aquarium provides a beautiful example of bayscaping. The 90,000-square-foot urban park explores Maryland’s diverse ecosystems—from the ocean, coastal plains and Chesapeake Bay through the Piedmont region and west to the Allegheny Mountains, and features many common native trees and plants.

The coastal zone includes salt marsh grasses, loblolly pines and shrubs like salt bush and winterberry. In the park’s Piedmont region, magnolia and swamp tupelo trees share space with swamp rose, Allegheny blackberry, highbush blueberry, cinnamon ferns, wild ginger, red chokeberry and bog plants including pickleweed and arrow arum. Eastern redbud and red cedar trees, witch hazel, wild hydrangea, sassafras, grasses and groundcovers take people to the mountainous portions of Maryland, leading them to the 35-foot waterfall representing the Allegheny Cascades.

Native plants are easy to find! For a complete list of plants and nurseries, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.
Previous Post

Featured Stories

Humpback whale Help Preserve the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act has supported work that has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species it has protected. That work is now under threat.

Read the full story

Atlantic puffin chick born at the National Aquarium Meet Our Trio of Puffin Chicks!

We are excited to welcome three new Atlantic puffin chicks to our Sea Cliffs exhibit!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Arbor Day: Doing Our Part Right in the Inner Harbor

Published April 26, 2013

A Blue View: Bayscaping!

Published April 04, 2013