Sep 27

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Yardwork Is for the Birds

Landscaping with native plants is a win for birds and water quality alike. Listen up, peeps:

Think yardwork is for the birds? You could be right—depending on what’s growing.

Ain't life grand -- when you can have flowers like this bee balm that are pretty and good for the ecosystem, too? (via Pixabay)

Ain’t life grand — when you can have flowers like this bee balm that are pretty and good for water and birds, too? (via Pixabay)

Plants have evolved over time to thrive in their native region. The temperature, rainfall, even nutrients in the soil are exactly what they need.

Indian grass, bee balm, and coneflowers are just a few of the hundreds of species that are native to the Midwest—and there are a lot of benefits to using native plants like ’em in your yard.

CurrentCast chatted with the National Audubon Society’s Chris Canfield, vice president of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi Flyway, to learn more about the connection between what we plant, and how it affects water as well as birds.

So, let’s say you have a lawn or otherwise non-native plants that need fertilizer to grow. Canfield explains that all that fertilizer will ultimately run off, and end up in our water system—not so when you plant native plants!

“In the end, they will take less water and won’t require the fertilizers,” he says. Native plants also provide the food and habitat that birds need to survive.

“That’s sort of a backyard win-win as far as I’m concerned,” he says.

And that’s something worth crowing about.

 Audubon pro Chris Canfield (via Audubon)

Audubon pro Chris Canfield (via Audubon)

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/stormwater-management/yardwork-is-for-the-birds/