Benefits for Property Owners
The benefits of creating a backyard habitat are many.
1. Increased beauty and potentially increased property values – Many plants, shrubs, and trees that benefit wildlife also are attractive to people. Having a variety of plants adds interest to your yard. The beauty and health of your yard can add to the value of your real estate.
2. Environmental benefits – Well-managed backyard habitats can save energy, protect the soil, and improve water and air quality. Vegetation reduces the temperature extremes of heat often associated with urban areas, and, when plants are located appropriately, they can help cool our homes during the summer and reduce heat loss in the winter. Plants enhance our privacy and reduce dust and noise from road traffic.
3. Insect control – Many species of wildlife, especially birds, eat insects. This is a great way to deal with annoying pests! Depending upon the species of wildlife you attract, you may reduce the need to use harmful chemicals.
4. Low maintenance – Native plants are adapted to local weather and soil conditions, they better resist local insects and diseases, and that means that they are easier to grow and maintain. Many of the recommended practices for habitat gardening require less work and money from the homeowner – leaving leaf litter to provide habitat for invertebrates, leaving brush piles which animals use for shelter, and foregoing the use of artificial fertilizers and chemicals. Native plants rarely need watering after becoming established and leaving a snag, instead of paying for its removal, saves money as well as providing very valuable habitat for a succession of birds and mammals.
5. Habitat for humans – Creating your own backyard habitat brings nature into your home range, offering opportunities to learn, enjoy, and pursue hobbies like bird watching, drawing, and photography. For families, this benefit is multifold. Children can start enjoying the wonders of the outdoors right in your backyard and this can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment of the natural world.