‘Homegrown Habitat’ was developed as a way to inspire homeowners, developers, and managers of community parks, facilities and other public spaces to take out half their lawn (or more) and replace it with local California natives. Based on the work of Doug Tallamy and his concept of a Homegrown National Park (Bringing Nature Home, Nature’s best Hope) our effort is focused on supporting the local wildlife—birds, bees, butterflies and beneficial insects. As these species attempt to navigate through habitat destruction, pesticide use, warming temperatures, wildfires and other climate change impacts, these insects often have no ability to travel out of their affected habitat. That is why we are in an “insect apocalypse” according to the Center for Biological Diversity. To learn more about the insect apocalypse refer to the following resources: Center for Biological Diversity, Xerces Society, Audubon Society, or Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park.
Under the Homegrown Habitat (HH) umbrella we would like to encourage turf replacement throughout the area with local native plants and develop an increasing number of native plant gardens which have as one of their primary focuses native plants that support our local wildlife. In summary, the program will work as follows:
- Current native plant gardeners who wish to be part of this effort will complete a HH Host application that includes information about the garden design and the beneficial habitat plants it contains.
- A HH Volunteer will visit the garden, ensure all the necessary information is on the application, verify the yard has the requisite habitat plants and is designed to support wildlife, and answer any questions the gardener host may have. The program focuses on front yards only.
- The garden host will not be required to interact with any member of the public unless they choose to do so. A Homegrown Habitat yard sign will be provided and contain a large QR code that will take any interested gardeners to the HH webpage where they can view information about the specific garden and garden design including:
- When the garden was established.
- A description of the garden including its size, its theme, any unique features and what inspired the use of local native plants.
- A plant list that is keyed to the photograph or garden plan.
- Information on type of irrigation method(s) used and water savings data if available.
- Before and after pictures if available.
- Any challenges faced in constructing and maintaining the garden and how they were overcome.
- The species of birds, bees, butterflies and beneficial insects observed in the garden.
Do you have an inspirational front yard? Would you like to be a Homegrown Habitat Host? Email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Homegrown Habitat Committee needs help with projects like this. Could you help? Email Chris at email@example.com.