Are you hearing frogs? If so, we want to know!

Spring is just around the corner and the wildlife in the valley know it!

After what seemed like endless months of rain, we are now waking up to crisp sunny air that is filled with bird songs that have been absent all winter. Every day more birds arrive in their quest to find a mate and set up their summer homes.
And if you live near a wetland you may be lucky enough to hear the distinctive rib-bits of the Northern Pacific Treefrog in the evenings. These tiny frogs use their big voices to attract females to their patch of water. Click on the recording below by Michael F. Benard.
And if you are driving on a rainy night near wetlands keep an eye out for the adult frogs, toads and salamanders crossing the roads to get to their breeding ponds.

Photo credit: Sean McCann

We at the FVC are worried about how many people have commented to us that they used to hear the treefrogs, but don’t anymore. The wetlands have been vanishing from our valley landscape and the number of treefrogs seem to be following this trend as well. Hence we have launched our Frog Finder Program to find the important areas where they are still breeding and to ensure their habitat is conserved.

Help us, help them, by becoming a Frog Finder!

Click on the image above to go to the official page.

 

 

Stewardship 101 coming to Mission, December 4th!

This session of Stewardship 101 is now full – if you would like to be on the waiting list for any cancellations or the next event to be held in early 2020 please email us!

Stewardship 101: Learn the basics of how to be a Fraser Valley nature steward

Join us for this introductory skills workshop, the first step in our Nature Stewardship School learning experience. During this fun and educational evening event in Mission, you will learn the basics of how to identify local wildlife habitat, the species that live there, and top stewardship tips. Participants are encouraged to bring any nature-related questions for discussion.

This initial course is for the community of Mission, we will be hosting Stewardship 101 classes in Abbotsford and Chilliwack in early 2020.

Start Time:  Doors open at 6:30pm, event starts at 7:00pm, wrap up by 9:00pm

Location: The Junction Shopping Centre in Mission, details will be provided upon registration.

Admission is $5 per person

Advance registration is required as space is limited

Life after the lawn

Picture yourself on a hot summer day, sweating as you push around a lawn mower that took far too long to start. You finish the weekly chore and want nothing more than to go to a beach, with its sandy shore, cool water and scenic mountain view.  This fantasy quickly diminishes as you trip over a hose that you now have to spend time untangling. Your lawn needs water after all to keep it green this time of year which can be a struggle, because it naturally wants to turn light brown and go dormant until the heat lets off. Speaking of green, you notice that your neighbour’s grass is a darker, more vibrant shade than yours. This reminds you that it’s just about time to add another round of chemical fertilizer. You forgot to pick some up on your last visit to the hardware store, when you bought that pesticide to battle the beetles wreaking havoc, and herbicide to keep the weeds from disrupting the well manicured lawn.

Growing a lawn, purely for aesthetics, sure is a lot of hassle for something that can have such a negative impact on the environment.  Some sources have estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 54-million kilograms of pesticides are used each year in Canada. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, “homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides on their lawns than farmers use on their crops.” All these chemicals can do considerable damage to wildlife including contributing to the death of millions of birds, as well as amphibians, who are especially vulnerable. Not only that, but an average garden hose can deliver, and waste, up to 600 liters of water per hour.

After thinking about all this you’re probably wondering if there’s another way. This can’t be worth it. Should you paint your lawn green during the hot summer months, or just install artificial turf? Should you plant invasive periwinkle to aggressively take over the space?  Please don’t, despite these being suggested by others as lawn alternatives.

Well, have hope. There are alternatives out there that will be better for both you and the environment. Here are just a few of the most common:

Clover (micro or white dutch)

Photo by Marina Shemesh

A good low water lawn alternative is clover. Clover adds nitrogen to the soil and rarely, if ever, requires additional fertilizer.  It can be mowed short but doesn’t require it. In fact, not mowing will help it reseed itself for the following year. Clover is pest resistant, while also attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects. And it grows aggressively enough to compete with those weeds you are constantly battling with in a turf grass lawn.

When the rest of the neighbourhood goes brown during the height of summer, a clover lawn will stay green. It’s relatively durable to walk on and there is no worry about “dog spots.” It may require reseeding every few years, but is relatively inexpensive when you consider the amount a clover lawn would save on environmentally harmful chemicals, fertilizers and water.

 

 

Moss

Photo by Aleesha Switzer

Moss is a nice lawn alternative for a shady area with acidic soil. It doesn’t take foot traffic as well as grass and does require added water, but it doesn’t require mowing and can be the solution for an area that was struggling to grow grass anyway. A moss lawn can add a wonderful aesthetic to an outdoor space.

 

Sedum beds

Photo by David J. Stang

Another low traffic aesthetic lawn alternative are sedum beds. “Sedum” is a large genus of plants, but within it contains many creeping species that are a low growing, spreading succulents that require almost no water or fertilizer. They will grow in some of the poorest soils, where grass had trouble but weeds flourished. You can also add pest and disease resistance to the list of advantages to planting sedum. Another major draw to installing sedum beds is that they flower, which your local pollinators will appreciate. Many of the ideal varieties are evergreen, so you can enjoy having some green all year long.

Rock gardens

Photo by Flickr user brewbooks

Rock gardens are a classic choice for people who are sick of dealing with their grass lawn. Planting a garden of drought resistant, low maintenance plants will save you a lot of time in the summer as well as help you conserve water. Rock gardens often use a lot of decorative stone, and can be quite showy and artistic!

 

 

Yarrow

Photo by Pixabay user romanhoertner

Another low water, low maintenance choice for a lawn alternative is yarrow. Yarrow will reliably fill a space with time and provides flowers for you and your pollinator friends to enjoy. Compared to other flowering plants, it is fairly resistant to foot traffic and only needs to be mowed twice a year, once in the spring and once in the late summer after it has bloomed. Most varieties are quite a bit taller than a manicured lawn, but there are some dwarf varieties out there.

 

Creeping thyme

Photo by David Stang

Creeping thyme makes for an excellent drought tolerant alternative to turf grass once it gets established. It smells great, flowers and can be walked on to some degree.

 

 

Chamomile (English variety)

Photo by Michel Rathwell

Chamomile not only makes a relaxing tea but can also be used as a replacement for a turf grass lawn. It requires little to no mowing or fertilizing and also smells great. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t take to foot traffic too well, especially when it’s establishing. What it lacks in durability though, it makes up for in visual appeal with white flowers that are much nicer to look at than a grassy lawn that wants to turn brown all summer.

Flower mixes such as “bee turf” (West Coast Seeds)

Photo by West Coast Seeds

There are flower mixes offered by some companies that are meant to replace turf grass with low growing perennial flowers, often mixed with clover. They usually aren’t great for foot traffic and in my experience they grow taller than most of the other lawn alternatives listed. Even so, they are quite beautiful, and a great choice for those who want to help out their local pollinators.

 

 

Grow vegetables!

Photo by Al Pasternak

Instead of wasting resources on grass, many people are choosing to transform parts of their lawn into productive vegetable gardens. Of course this is equally, if not more labour intensive as grass and will also require added water, but at least you will get something back in the form of a harvest. It doesn’t get any fresher than from the garden, right to the table. Be sure to check the bylaws in your area though, unfortunately some areas would rather you keep that grass.

 

 

 

 

The days when having that perfectly manicured lawn are ending. Lawns are detrimental to the environment by using an excess of our precious water resources, and the pesticides applied to them are harmful to wildlife. They are needlessly labour intensive and take more work than it’s worth to maintain. By replacing these outdated symbols of status with one of the alternatives listed above, you can save water, wildlife, and protect the environment in your own small way. In the process you’ll also free up time that you can use to enjoy those short summer months. Let your neighbour waste their time chasing that dream lawn. Or better yet, show them there is another way, that’s better for the people, wildlife, and the environment alike.

For more information and growing tips check out Metro Vancouver’s Grow Green Guide

 

Sources

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-pesticide-consuming-countries-of-the-world.html

https://www.fws.gov/raleigh/pdfs/Homeowners_Guide_Frogs.pdf

https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/water-pdf/a-homeowners-guide-to-outdoor-water-use.pdf?sfvrsn=eb8c8cc9_4

https://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/psw_gtr191/psw_gtr191_1029-1042_erickson.pdf

 

Now is the time to add native plants to your garden!

As the summer winds down, the cooler nights and autumn rains return. At this point in the season, you’re probably mostly thinking about the yearly ritual of putting your garden to rest as soon the last of the late season flowers finish their final bloom. While those plants that gave you joy all summer long are finishing, it’s actually the best time to begin planting those native trees and perennials you’ve been thinking about adding to create additional wildlife habitat on your property.

Common knowledge will tell you that spring is the time to get planting, and there really is nothing like finally getting into the garden after a long winter. There is no need to wait though — right now is actually the best time to get those plants in the ground.

There are several excellent reasons why you should be planting in the fall:

  • There is time for roots to be put down – With winters’ frozen touch on the landscape still a few months away, there is plenty of time for newly planted perennials grow their roots and establish themselves in their new environment before they rest for the winter.
  • There is less need to water – The anticipated rainfall will make sure the plants stay adequately watered while they begin to establish. This also means less of commitment required on your part in providing additional water.
  • There are less pests – The later end of the year also marks the end the ideal breeding period for insect nuisances that will create stress for both you and your plants.
  • There is less disease – There also tends to be a lesser overall disease pressure put on plants as the nights cool, but the days are still somewhat warm.
  • There is a relief from the heat – Like you, many plants are sensitive to stresses caused by an overly hot summer sun. Planting in the fall gives them a break, and can be a more enjoyable gardening experience for yourself as well.
  • Less stress means better establishment and happier plants– The overall less pressure put on your plants this time of year gives them a better chance to establish during what is a sensitive time for them.

So don’t miss out using the fall season to your advantage to create healthier and happier plants in your garden. An established native plant garden will survive for years to come and be enjoyed by both you and all the wildlife who passes through or calls your garden home.  The gardening season doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, end with the flowers. There is still lots of time in the year, so get out there, get dirty, and get some native plants in the ground!

Summer of 2019

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be part of the FVC summer crew? It is a combination of hard work, great conversations about conservation, and some fun thrown in.

But don’t take it from us, here is what Abbey and Jessica had to say…

First from Abbey:

Over the summer of 2019, I worked full time for the FVC. I found out about this opportunity through my previous volunteer experience with FVC, particularly with scientist Sofi Hindmarch. Working for the FVC was my dream summer job all through high school, and I was elated when I got the position.

My favorite aspect of this job was the variety: one day I might be pulling out invasive plants from a restoration site, the next I might be counting bats in a suburban site. Having so many facets to my job allowed me to learn new skills. This was my first chance to work in an office. This was a challenge since all my previous jobs had been active jobs. Sitting at the computer was more difficult than any fieldwork I had to do, but I came out more patience and with better typing skills.

Fieldwork was divided between invasive species removal and research. The invasive species removal was very strenuous and dirty work. I improved my fitness by pulling out blackberries for 7 hours a day. Working hard for such long spans of time built up my tenacity.

Research was the most exciting aspect of working at FVC. I worked with many species: western toads, bullfrogs, bats, painted turtles, and screech owls. Carrying out the methods I had studied was super fun, and it helped to reaffirm my interest in field biology. I also was able to learn about the background work that must be done before studies can be carried out; oftentimes, there is a long process of communication, funding applications, planning, and dealing with residents that must be done before and during fieldwork. These details haven’t been taught to me in school yet, so it was an important lesson.

A final aspect of my employment was attending outreach events. Our goal for the summer was to attend 5-6 events around the Fraser Valley. The purpose of these outings was to promote the work of FVC to event attendees. I had a great time chatting with people, including children.

My time at the FVC was incredibly productive and enjoyable. I am happy that I decided to apply for this position, and I know that it’s addition to my resume will aid in my future employment. I am thankful to all the people I got to meet and work with.

And Jessica:

I am a fifth-year biology student at UFV looking to pursue a master’s in conservation biology. The experience I received this summer confirmed that this is the direction I would like to go in. I had a fantastic time working for Fraser Valley Conservancy.

I learned about FVC from a required volunteer component of a second level conservation class. I signed up to help survey for Sideband and Oregon forest snails on the Three Creeks property. It was raining and miserable that day, and I had the most phenomenal time in the field! This opportunity pushed me from the genetics focus I had intended to take to outdoor conservation work, which I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do.

I had the opportunity to work in the field doing invasive species removal with Jon, conduct surveys of Western toadlets, and truck through bogs with Natasha photo point monitoring. I had the chance to see baby barn owls through cameras with Sofi and to connect with local communities through outreach events with Aleesha.

Each week there was something new and interesting to do. Even with invasive species removal, which took 60 per cent of our time, each site was different and interesting, and I enjoyed the company of Jon and Abbey. People often stopped to chat with us about what we were doing.

I learned valuable skills that I will certainly be using in future jobs. I learned to identify invasive species and the strategies to remove them. It was interesting returning to sites later in the summer and seeing how quickly other invasives can take over an area. I also learned why certain native species are chosen over others to plant in disturbed sites to help combat invasive species and to naturalize the site.

I also worked with some of our local at-risk or endangered animal species. We conducted Western toadlet surveys during which I learned about the migration of these toadlets and, through later analyzing the data, the value of the toadlet tunnel. I had the chance to help Sofi look for Western screech owl nests in a forest and saw a great horned owl for the first time. I also helped Sofi survey baby barn owls and I learned about the life cycle and population dynamics of barn owls in the Valley.

During trap monitoring with Natasha, I learned to identify some native fish species, the basic technique for photo point monitoring, and I learned that canary reed grass does usually grow in deep water (while wearing only rubber boots). I was taught basic GIS mapping skills at a workshop which will help me in my upcoming conservation GIS course.

Each person I worked with was so willing and excited to share their knowledge with me. There was a great deal of trust shown to me and Abbey with the work we were asked to do independently. I leave FVC confident that this is the career direction I want to pursue, if others in this field are half as friendly and knowledgeable as the people I got to work with this summer.

Huge thanks to these UFV students for working so hard this summer, their positive attitudes and passion for conservation!

 

Did you know about the Owl Champion of Abbotsford?

Gerry Powers: Owl champion of Abbotsford

Did you know that the owls of the Fraser Valley have a full time, volunteer owl savior? You may have seen his green truck driving along the highway between Abbotsford and Chilliwack in the early morning hours, or Gerry himself armed with a fishing net, rescuing an injured owl.

 

Gerry Powers and a very happy Barn owl.

Gerry Powers started collecting birds from the side of Highway 1 over 20 years ago. Gerry and his wife Shirley drive the stretch of highway between Chilliwack and Abbotsford looking for dead or injured raptors, sometimes several times per week.

 

Shirley Powers rescuing a raptor.

 

They record their findings and take injured raptors they have found to the Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Society (OWL) in Delta, where they are treated and rehabilitated to be released back into the Fraser Valley.

Gerry has kept meticulous notes on every bird he has come across in his rescue work, all in well labeled binders stacked around his home office. Now, his work as a citizen scientist is helping FVC biologist Sofi with her research. Sofi is using the past 21 years of Gerry’s records to look into where the most barn owls die along Highway 1 and the possible reasons why.

 

 

 

Raptors, such as hawks, eagles, and owls, like to hunt along our highways. The open stretches of grasses are home to mice and voles, and the utility poles make excellent hunting perches. Unfortunately, cars traveling quickly along the highway can hit the birds as they fly low to find and catch their prey.

With many years of experience rescuing injured birds, Gerry is the go-to guy for owl rescue in the Fraser Valley. He takes 24-7, from all over the Lower Mainland, about dead and injured raptors.

 

 

Gerry wasn’t entirely sure how he started recording road mortality along the highways, but it was likely a natural progression from his rescue work across the Fraser Valley. Gerry has helped release around 400 of his rescued raptors, including 172 barn owls and 67 barred owls.

His work is making a real impact, not just for the owls he rescues but also for the owl population as a whole. The data he has collected is helping Sofi with her research. Road mortality is one of the biggest threats to owls, along with habitat loss and the use of rodent poisons.

 

Gerry and his green owl rescue truck.

Have you seen an owl in your area and are wondering if it’s a barn owl? We have eleven species of owls here in the Fraser Valley. Click here to check out our handy ID resources for help identifying the owls you find by look and by sound.

Native Plant Gardening Series Summary

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Native Plant Gardening Series Summary

Native plants are naturally adapted to our local growing conditions. They require less water than many non-native plants and grow well without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. These beautiful native plants will give your garden year-round appeal for people and for wildlife –including birds, bees, and butterflies!

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In case you missed our weekly posts on facebook, here’s a summary of our top picks for beautiful native plants that create habitat for local wildlife.

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Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquilifolium) is an excellent choice for the low-maintenance gardener looking for a plant that offers four-season rewards. This deer-resistant shrub adapts well to most conditions from sun to shade, and will be tolerant to a hot summer drought. Its shiny, evergreen foliage adds some winter appeal to a mostly dormant garden.

 

Often by April or May, intense bursts of yellow flowers emerge, adding to the aesthetic appeal of your native plant garden, and providing an early food source for hummingbirds and insect pollinators. The purple berries that follow are food for birds and other small animals. It will grow up to 2.5 meters tall and about 1.5 meters wide, but can be expected to slowly spread via suckers, which can be easily controlled with a good pair of pruners.
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Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is a common shrub found in the forests of the Fraser Valley, and is the perfect fit for a naturalized home garden. Out in the forest, you’ll find it growing in moist areas beside streams or wetlands with dappled shade, up to a height of 4 meters tall. Its spreading roots allow this shrub to grow quite densely, creating a woody thicket loved by small animals looking for habitat that gives them a place to hide from larger predators.

 

Showy pink flowers open in April, and are enjoyed by pollinators and hummingbirds looking for an early food source. Its delicious fruits are some of the earliest to ripen, feeding wildlife from as early as May, and into late July. The berries are a favourite of many birds including, jays, grouse, robins, thrushes, waxwings. Small mammals also enjoy the red berries, and some will even eat the bark and leaves.

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Red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) promises to give your garden its first splash of colour after a dull winter. Its fragrant pink-to-red flowers provide an early spring food source for hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators. The dark berries are a favourite of our native small mammals and birds. As a low maintenance shrub, it doesn’t mind moist soils, but is also known for its tolerance to drought during the drier months.

 

When choosing a garden location to plant your Red flowering currant, keep in mind that it will do the best in an area with plenty of sun, but that will also be shaded at some points throughout the day. You can expect this shrub to grow 1-3 meters tall and 2.1 meters wide, making it a good choice as a backdrop at the far side of your garden, or as a natural privacy shrub in the summer.

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The Pacific Crabapple is fairly compact compared to other tree species native to Coastal BC. Growing slowly up to a mature height of 12m tall and about 8m wide, this tree provides good cover for the ground below, giving both people and wildlife a place to get out of the sun or rain. This tree appreciates a wetter garden site with a fair amount of sun exposure. Gardeners will be pleased to find that this tree adds beauty to any landscape three seasons of the year.

 

Fragrant white flowers fill the tree from April to May, providing a stunning visual appeal, and food for pollinators in the spring. Late summer weather ripens the tree’s small fruits. Certain bird species such as the beautiful varied thrush, look forward to this abundant summer food source. As autumn sets in, the leaves change to yellow or red, adding to the colour and feel of the season. 

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Western Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) is the native, trailing vine you’ve been looking for to replace the invasive English Ivy (planted years ago by someone with very good intentions) which, by now, is probably taking over your entire garden and perhaps the old forest behind your house. Slow to establish, but prolific once it does, Western honeysuckle will spread out up to 20 feet, and can be trained to climb a trellis with ease.

 

It blooms in clusters of sweet-smelling orange flowers from May to June, which are loved by both butterflies and hummingbirds. The red berries begin to ripen in September and are eaten by a variety of birds, including robins and finches. Although it is known to be drought tolerant once established, Western Honeysuckle prefers to be planted in a moist location with lots of shade.

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Anyone who grows roses knows that they can be very particular, requiring specific care and master pruning skills. One of BC’s native roses, the Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana), is an easy-to-grow, ecologically supportive alternative to a non-native cultivar. Its fragrant pink-to-red flowers, a favorite food source of bees and hummingbirds, bloom in June and July.

 

Nootka Rose is a fast growing plant, reaching 0.5-3m in height if given the proper growing conditions. Over time it will spread underground to fill the space in which it’s planted, creating a thicket that will support small mammals and birds. It prefers a sunny location but will tolerate shade, and likes moist, well drained soil. However, living up to its reputation as an easy-to-grow species, will also grow in drier conditions.

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Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is the native relative of the commonly used landscape plant Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens). As an evergreen shrub known for its versatility and hardiness, Salal thrives in the full range of sun exposures, preferring soil that stays somewhat moist, but will easily tolerate periods of drought.

 

Its white- to-pink spring flowers attract hummingbirds, while the red summer berries provide food for many varieties of wildlife. This plant tends to grow quite slowly, eventually reaching up to 1.5 meters tall, and continues to spread as it grows, if given the space. The thicket created by this spreading habit is the favoured habitat of small mammals and birds looking to find respite from their larger and often hungry predators.

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Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), also known as bearberry, is a great choice for a gardener looking for a native groundcover. Growing in well-drained soils with sun to part shade, this plant will stay under half a meter tall but spread widely, filling a space with its evergreen foliage. In the fall, the berries turn wine-red and stay on the plant into the winter, creating a visually festive feel, and providing wildlife with food during scarcer months. The leaves are also enjoyed by some small birds and mammals looking for a quick snack as they forage for more substantial sustenance.

 

Kinnikinnick can be used as an ally in areas prone to erosion. As it spreads across the site, its roots take hold of the soil, preventing it from washing away during heavy rain events. The mat of foliage it creates also provides a year-round habitat for other small critters. .

 


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To learn more about native plant gardening, take a look at our Native Plant Gardening Guide:
Gardening with Native Plants in the lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

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Want to get wildife-friendly gardening tips right to your inbox? Sign up for our e-newsletter The Valley Steward!

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Plan for Wildlife-friendly Garden Maintenance!

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Wildlife-friendly  Garden Maintenance

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It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s spring! Have you been inspired to get out in the garden? Here are some simple ways you can ensure your yard maintenance is wildlife-friendly.
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Pruning Trees & Shrubs.
Before pruning a tree or shrub, it’s important to carefully check for nests to reduce the chances of destroying the homes of birds or small mammals, especially in March and April. Watch for nest-building or feeding activity, and listen for alarm calls from adults or begging calls from the young as you approach the site.

 

Remember to look high and low! Not all nests are in the branches of your trees. Ground nesting birds will build their nests among the thickets of your garden shrubs or blackberry bushes. If you find a nest, keep your distance, and wait until the babies have fully fledged before pruning back this area.

The best time to prune trees and shrubs in the winter. This way, you can be sure that you are not disturbing any nests, and your plants will thank you for the waiting until they their dormant season.

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Lawn Care.
Spring wildflowers – including dandelions and clover – are an important food source for our pollinators, like bees! Cutting your lawn in the early spring creates a pollinator dessert… Show your support for the bees by letting this important food source flower brightly in your yard all spring!

 

Mowing and weed eating areas that have become overgrown can expose or harm baby animals – like bunnies and birds – to predators. Before mowing, make sure to walk your lawn to check for signs of nesting or hiding wildlife. When cutting your lawn, start in the middle and gradually move outwards in a circle so that animals can escape to safety.

If you have the space, consider creating temporary grass islands or prairie strips in your lawn as a part of your seasonal landscaping practice. You will enjoy the many grasses and other plants that you wouldn’t normally see flowering, while also providing a refuge and feeding source for insects, birds, and small mammals. Creating larger meadows encourages owls and other raptors to hunt.

If you live near a wetland, watch for juvenile amphibians migrating through your yard in the summer. Often they go unseen, but if you are lucky you might witness a mass migration of Western toadlets. Their migration period usually lasts about 2 weeks, and waiting to mow can save thousands of tiny lives.

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Brush Piles & Leaves.
Leave the leaves! Fallen leaves attract ground-feeding birds hunting for insects. Leaf litter that has persisted since fall may be home to overwintering butterfly pupae. Give them time to wake up and burst out as butterflies in the spring! Plus, decaying leaves are a natural (and free) fertilizer that add nutrients to your soil as they decompose.

 

Think twice about chipping or burning the brush piles you have created in your yard. Some wildlife seek out this type of dense and secure shelter that’s close to the ground. You might be surprised at the amount of wildlife a simple pile of sticks and leaves can attract. Salamanders, frogs & toads, rabbits and other small mammals, dragonflies and butterflies, and an abundance of bird species use this modest yet complex habitat feature.

(Northwestern salamander photo by Mike Pearson)

 


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To learn more about native plant gardening to create habitat for wildlife, take a look at our Native Plant Gardening Guide:
Gardening with Native Plants in the lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

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Want to get wildife-friendly gardening tips right to your inbox? Sign up for our e-newsletter The Valley Steward!

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It’s Official! Our Native Plant Gardening Guide is Here!

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People often ask us how they can make their backyard or garden a more inviting space for local wildlife. These days we seem to have so much garden advice right at our fingertips, but people still find it tricky to figure out which beautiful native plants will grow best in our particular Fraser Valley climate.
With this in mind, we partnered with the South Coast Conservation Program and Vancity Credit Union to create our very first Gardening Guide: Gardening with Native Plants in the lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!
Based on a version created by the Habitat Acquisition Trust for residents of Vancouver Island, this guide was made specifically for Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley gardeners looking to create beautiful landscapes that support local wildlife..

You can download a copy right from our website by clicking the image below.

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Would you like a print copy mailed to you instead? Use the Paypal link below to place your order. Contact us directly for bulk order pricing.


Number of copies requested




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This project was made possible through the generosity of:

Did You Know That We Sell Native Flower Seed Mixes?

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Specifically chosen for their suitability to our South-Western BC climate, these flowers are perfect for Fraser Valley backyards and gardens!
Add some colour to your garden and support wildlife on your property with with locally-sourced, FVC native flower seed mixes! At these prices, you can afford to plant them everywhere!

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Choose between two different seed mixes for the best results in your yard.

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Sunshine Mix

Contents: Goldenrod, Nodding Onion, Yarrow

Price: $4.00

 

 

 

 

 

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Shade Mix

Contents: Bleeding Heart, Fringecup, Lady Fern, Western Columbine

Price: $4.00

 

 

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*All FVC seed mixes are free of pesticicides and herbicides.

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FVC seed mixes are specially prepared by Tiffany at Birch Grove Nursery, a local environmentally conscious nursery specializing in plants native to coastal BC.
Place your order today by emailing info@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com. Seeds are available for pickup at our office location in Mission.
Proceeds from seed sales support our conservation work in the Fraser Valley.