Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Douglas Tallamy: Gardeners as Land Stewards

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 7:30 – 9pm
Location: Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street.

Planting native trees, plants, and shrubs in this crowded world carries both a moral and an ecological responsibility we cannot ignore. With 33,000 species imperiled in the U.S., gardeners and landscapers have never been so empowered to help save biodiversity—and the need has never been so great. Celebrity naturalist David Mizejewski introduces Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Professor Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, who discusses how native plants sustain wildlife in our gardens. Presented by the National Wildlife Federation.

Tickets are $5 at or 800/838-3006, and at the door beginning at 6:30 pm.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Two new Backyard Habitat-related resources!

The Xerces Society will turn 40 this year! We'll be celebrating our official birthday later in the year, but we can't think of a much better way to start such a significant year than with the release of an important new book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies.

The work of bees and other pollinators is something that touches us all through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the landscapes we enjoy. Attracting Native Pollinators offers a window onto the fascinating lives of these insects and provides detailed information about how you can care for these vital animals wherever you live. Whether you are an urban gardener, a suburban park manager, a working farmer, or caring for a nature reserve Attracting Native Pollinators has something for you.

The book has already garnered high praise:

"Attracting Native Pollinators belongs on the bookshelf of everyone who values the future of the natural world."
- Douglas W. Tallamy, researcher and author
of Bringing Nature Home

"Precise, elegant and thoughtful, the recommendations offered by the Xerces Society will become essential to advancing a healthy and diverse food production system."
- Gary Nabhan, author of The Forgotten
Pollinators and Renewing America's Food

More than 380 pages long, Attracting Native Pollinators is illustrated throughout with hundreds of color photographs and dozens of custom-drawn illustrations. It is published by Storey Publishing of North Adams, Mass. and coauthored by four Xerces staff (Eric Mader, Matthew Shepherd, Mace Vaughan, and Scott Hoffman Black) with Gretchen LeBuhn, a botanist at San Francisco State University and director of The Great Sunflower Project.

Pre-order your book from our website by January 31st to get a discount -


Join UW Botanic Gardens and the Northwest Horticultural Society for a celebration of Sarah Reichard’s new book, The Conscientious Gardener: Cultivating a Garden Ethic. Sarah will share the latest best practices for gardening with an environmental ethic, including pest control, water conservation, mulching, and invasive species.

Thursday, February 17, 2011
6:45 pm Reception and Book-Signing; 7:30 pm Lecture
NHS Hall, Center for Urban Horticulture, Seattle
Tickets are $15
For more information, visit

Sarah Reichard is the founder and director of the Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation and faculty at the University of Washington.

*Proceeds and book sales from the event will benefit Rare Care.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"10,000 by 2010" goal met in 25th year of WDFW Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program celebrated its 25th anniversary year by more than making a "10,000 by 2010" campaign goal. By the end of 2010, an official total of 11,454 properties across the state were enrolled as Backyard Wildlife Sanctuaries. With the program's emphasis on urban and suburban properties where habitat development and restoration is most needed, 89 percent of those properties (10,238) are in western Washington, where more of the state's cities and towns lie in the Puget Sound area from Bellingham to Vancouver. The other 11 percent (1,216) are in eastern Washington, mostly in the state's second largest metropolitan area -- Spokane - with some in the Tri-Cities, Yakima and Wenatchee areas.

The "10,000 by 2010" campaign began in the summer of 2009, when the statewide total of properties enrolled was 8,507. The 10,000 mark was reached in April 2010 with enrollment of a property in Olympia. The Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program began in 1985 in WDFW's North Puget Sound Region, based in Mill Creek, north of Seattle. It quickly expanded to the Spokane-based Eastern Region for statewide promotion of the program's basic idea - wildlife stewardship begins at home, even and especially in urban settings. With over 35,000 acres of wildlife habitat converted to housing and other development each year in Washington, the program is designed to help offset that loss by encouraging backyard landscaping to provide food and cover for wildlife.

Over the years the program has increased emphasis on development and maintenance of year-round habitat, preferably using low-maintenance, low-water-use native plants. Information on supplemental feeding of birds has increasingly focused on keeping feeders clean to avoid spreading disease among birds and locating feeders to minimize problems with predation by domestic cats and wild predators and birds flying into nearby windows. The program not only enhances the urban environment for the benefit of wildlife, but it also helps increase opportunities for people to enjoy and learn about wildlife by providing information about best practices for attracting watchable wildlife to your home. The latest (2006) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey of wildlife associated recreation showed that 2.3 million Washington residents, or about 40 percent of the state's population, actively watch wildlife. Most of those - 1.9 million or 83 percent - watch wildlife "around home" (defined as within a mile of home.) About 1.5 million feed wildlife and about 360,000 maintain natural areas or plantings for wildlife.

If you're currently one of the many thousands of Washington Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary managers, thank you for all you do to help wildlife on your property. We encourage you to talk to your neighbors about similarly helping wildlife on their property because the bigger the contiguous blocks of habitat, the better for wildlife and wildlife watching. If you're not in the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program, you can certify your yard with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation and Northwest Zoo & Aquarium Alliance by downloading the
Habitat Certification Application

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Schoolyard Habitats Webinar!

Are you ready to create a Schoolyard Habitat, but not sure how to start? National Wildlife Federation is offering the free webinar Designing Your Schoolyard Habitat Project on February 3rd at 1:00 p.m. PST.

The webinar will cover the special design and project planning considerations for installing a habitat on school grounds and utilizing a habitat for teaching. For more information and to sign up for the webinar, go to