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Native Plants Turn Backyards Into Nature Preserves

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Spring is here and the National Audubon Society is promoting plant growth that will help birds that roam the skies.

The "Plants for Birds" campaign is asking people across the nation to help grow 1 million native plants over the next year. The organization wants those who do plant to make sure the plants are native to that specific location, so they can provide the most resources for birds that are looking to nest or feed.

Dr. John Rowden, director of community conservation with the Audubon Society, said besides providing nesting materials and potential locations for birds to make a home, the plants indirectly help with their food supply.

"Native plants host native insects, and there's a really close connection between insects and plants," Rowden said. "And insects are incredibly important to bird species, particularly when they're raising their babies.

The National Audubon Society has created a database that people can access to see which plants are native in their area and which are most bird-friendly. All that's needed is a ZIP code. Learn more here.

As urbanization continues and more buildings and houses are constructed, more habitat for birds is lost. According to Audubon's Bird and Climate Change Study, more than half of North American bird species are threatened by climate change and could lose more than 50 percent of their habitats within this century.

The Audubon Society says planting native grasses, shrubs and trees reduces emissions that cause climate change and grow the amount of places that birds need to thrive. Rowden said on top of helping these animals, native plants also are easier to maintain than plants that are foreign to the area."

And if you use native plants because they're well adapted to our local conditions, they don't need a lot of maintenance, they don't need a lot of care once they're established," he said. "They don't need a lot of water when they're established because they're adapted to survive on the water that comes naturally in the area."

This piece was reprinted by the Columbia County Observer with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On March 30, 2018, C from Tampa wrote:

I'm so happy to see this piece on native plants. As a new member of the Florida Native Plant Society I'm learning a lot about which natives to plant in my area of Florida and plan to gradually replace most of my non-native plants with natives, especially the more invasive species of non-natives.

Not only are native plants and trees good for wildlife, but they attract birds and butterflies to your yard, which are so beautiful to watch. And our bees need natives, too - their population is declining.

There's a Native Plant Society in Lake City and many other areas of Florida if anyone's interested in finding out more. See: Florida Native Plant Society



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