Habitat Awareness

By KBJR News 1

August 23, 2010 Updated Aug 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM CDT

Gardeners and landscapers got tips and a chance to buy native plants to spruce up their property at the annual Habitat festival at Hartley Nature center this past weekend.

"It just seems like something I should be doing."
Choosing Native species offers several benefits to those who include them in their yards, they are not just nice to look at they can also provide valuable habitat.

"I've become more aware of invasive species and how they can take over and become a monoculture, so I'd like to grow what nature is accustomed to having there."

There were also activities for junior habitat helpers, kids got to decorate for the birds.
"I'm making a bird feeder."

"That's one of Laura Erickson's 101 ways to protect birds is to make decals to protect the birds form flying into windows so we thought that would be a fun way to protect them and help them."

Renowned bird expert

Laura Erickson spoke at the event, she drew a crowd to hear about chickadees and later explained how an oil spill will be affecting habitat for some of our native birds.

"The biggest issue we're going to have with the gulf oil spill will be our loons. Virtually all common Loons from Minnesota and Wisconsin migrate south to the gulf where they'll spend the entire winter in the water. Young Loons, if you watch, Loon chicks this summer they are supposed to spend 2-3 years in the gulf and there is still a lot of oil in the gulf of Mexico."

Laura Erickson says one of the best ways to help birds and other animals in our area is to provide good habitat including as many native food and habitat sources as possible.
In Duluth, I'm David Hoole for Nature matters.

For more tips on promoting native plants in your habitat visit our website, northlands news center dot com.