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Soil & Water Conservation District

BACKYARD CONSERVATION

Create a sustainable landscape at home!

As the human population grows and displaces more habitat for other species, we find that our parks and preserves are not enough habitat to maintain viable populations of our native wildlife.
Backyard conservation is something that many people can do to make a difference in the ecology of your local community. It can be fun and enjoyable outdoor activity for the whole family. No yard is too small to make a difference!
Backyard conservation is something that many people can do to make a difference in the ecology of your local community. It can be fun and enjoyable outdoor activity for the whole family. No yard is too small to make a difference!

Attracting Wildlife to Your Property

Knox SWCD Wildlife Specialist, Brian Hackett, give a presentation for the Virtual Farm Science Review 2020 about ways you can attract wildlife to your own backyard. Check out the video and feel free to contact Brian at our office with more questions!

Autumn PSA!

In the fall many homeowners begin the tedious work of raking up leaves, deadheading old blooms, and disposing of nature’s mulch. Little do many folks know, but the leaves and stems that you are clearing off your property are especially important habitat for many types of insects and even amphibians and reptiles! Leave the leaves where you can and ditch the leaf blowers.
Save deadheading work until the next spring and spend that time cozying up in your warm house. Our native bees lay their eggs in hollowed out plant stems, dead trees and logs, or under leaf litter. Many moths and caterpillars pupate under the leaf litter. Toads and snakes stay warm under the insulated layer of leaves.

Create Habitats for Stem-Nesting Bees!

Don’t pull up those flowers! Use this handy graphic to turn your old flowers into new habitats for stem-nesting bees:

Plant a rain garden!

Rain gardens are specially designed gardens that collect and absorb rainwater from the roofs, sidewalks, driveways, even turf grass lawns. By allowing the water to soak into the ground they reduce runoff.
Using tough native plants with deep roots is ideal when considering what to plant in your rain garden. By using deep rooted native plants you also create a beautiful garden perfect for attracting butterflies and other pollinators.

Learn more about rain gardens at centralohioraingardens.org.

If you are ready to get started check out:
Using tough native plants with deep roots is ideal when considering what to plant in your rain garden. By using deep rooted native plants you also create a beautiful garden perfect for attracting butterflies and other pollinators.

Learn more about rain gardens at centralohioraingardens.org.

If you are ready to get started check out:

Install a bat box!

Bat boxes are a great way to invite bats into your yard. Here in Ohio our bats are all insectivores, providing free mosquito and pest control wherever they go. Many species of bat are facing population declines and biological threats such as white-nose syndrome in cave hibernating species. Installing a bat house can not only help rid your property of unwanted insects, but it could also help bat populations as well. Check out the following PDFs for information on bat boxes and visit batcon.org to learn even more!
Historically one of the most common bats in the United States, the little brown bat is now uncommon throughout much of its eastern range due to WNS.

Utilize rainwater with a rain barrel!

Rain barrels are a great way to reduce the amount of rain runoff coming off your roof and help conserve fresh drinking water. Placed adjacent to downspouts with a diversion they collect rainwater and store it for use on drier days. Barrels have hose spigots at the bottom for watering trees, gardens, or flowerbeds. This alternate supply of water won’t raise your water bill or deplete groundwater supplies. Since the water does not contain minerals found in wells or chlorine found in municipal supplies, it is ideal for plants.
rain-barrel-diy
Rain Barrels can come in many materials, colors, and sizes. Most common are 55 or 75 gallon plastic drums. A lot of people find that painting their rain barrel adds a unique and personal touch. It is a good idea to raise your rain barrel off the ground for easier access to the spigot, especially if you would like to use a watering can. Look for rain barrels with a solid cover or mesh inlet as this prevents mosquitoes from getting in and laying eggs.
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