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Landscaping for Wildlife

Seeing and learning about wildlife is an enriching experience that anyone can enjoy. When landscapes provide food, shelter, water, and nesting areas for reproduction, a rich variety of life follows. The result is a healthier, more resilient ecosystem for all inhabitants.

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Reintroducing bison to grasslands increases plant diversity, drought resilience, study finds – Kansas State University

Originally published by Kansas State University. Reprinted with permission By: Erin Pennington MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University-led study has found that reintroducing bison — a formerly dominant grazer —…

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Garden Allies

The Insects, Birds & Other Animals That Keep Your Garden Beautiful and Thriving

In Garden Allies, author Frederique Lavoipierre encourages a perspective shift towards the critters in our gardens. Instead of thinking of garden inhabitants as good or bad, she encourages us to think of them in their ecological roles, with a food-web perspective. What results is a book jam-packed with identification clues, gardening guidance, and stories that had me penciling exclamation points in the margins.

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The South Dakota Pollinator Project

By Paul Clinton

Over the past several years, one of my favorite landscape architecture projects has been developing and monitoring five pollinator plots at the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) rest areas in the eastern part of the state along Interstate 29. As a landscape architect, it is satisfying to witness the return of native prairie plant communities and be a part of diverse projects – and working in South Dakota has allowed me to do both. 

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BEES: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide

Reviewed by Bruce Wenning

Heather Holm has written another beautiful book for pollinator gardening enthusiasts. She combines Jane Goodall’s style of long-term field observations with library research. Her photographs and illustrations capture your interest and increase your appreciation for bees, their natural history, and their host plants.

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Native Habitat Restoration on an Old Wisconsin Farm

By Marcie O’Connor

Our adventure began in early 2000 when my husband and I bought 500 acres of an old farm in the Driftless Area of western Wisconsin. The Driftless Area is the part of the Midwest that was never covered by glaciers, so the land is beautiful – with steep hills and narrow valleys. I’m interested in native plants and natural landscapes, so I thought it would be fun to return the land to prairie and how it looked before it was farmed.

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Rain Garden that has come into full bloom in 2021! Visiting this garden regularly through 2021 for maintenance has been such a joy.
 

Adjusting to a New Normal

By Cody Hayo

Throughout 2021 we have struggled to get back to a “New Normal.” The “normal” we had grown accustomed to since 2016 involved very active participation with a local stormwater grant program. This program aims to capture stormwater runoff before it reaches rivers and streams, emphasizing garden-based solutions. During the pandemic in 2020, our local stormwater grant program, which is open to residential property owners, hit a major roadblock, and the program did not accept any applications at all.

 

 

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Visual Storytelling of Florida Gardening

By Joelle O’Daniel-Lopez 

When we purchased our home ten years ago, it had the typical suburban NW Florida yard with a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. We were fortunate to have several well-established “good” trees, including live and laurel oaks, southern magnolia, and black cherry trees. In support of the “good” plants and trees, we quickly got rid of the “bad” and “ugly” nonnative invasive species.  

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Starving for Darkness

By Jane Slade

Darkness is disappearing from the face of the Earth, blinding wildlife in the light. Since life began, the Earth’s rotation has created cyclical darkness by which living things evolved, tuning instincts and behaviors over millennia. The loss of darkness has inhibited the sensory experience of wildlife, changing the behavior of species and how species interact with one another. 

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Chicken of the Woods on an oak log. © Anna Fialkoff.
 

Think Like a Forest

By Anna Failkoff

Forest trees are not singular specimens but are interdependent players in a dynamic natural community. The tree canopy casts critical shade, moderates moisture and temperature, drops leaf litter to help build living soil, and provides sustenance for a diversity of life on roots, trunks, branches and leaves. Using forest ecosystems for inspiration, we can bring maximal biodiversity, resilience and biomass back into human landscapes. 

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