Calling all Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and Master Water Stewards with an overabundance of native plants in their own backyard.
We are working to certify the Greater Longfellow Community (of Minneapolis) as a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. This year we are starting a Gardening for Wildlife Mentorship. Over the course of a year, experienced Gardening and Wildlife Mentors convey information, resources, and plants from their own yard over to the Mentee they are partnered with. The Mentorship Team helps with planning and design, but it is ultimately up to the Mentor to teach and encourage the Mentee to create a wildlife friendly yard, and ultimately certify with the NWF as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The Mentee’s yard needs to include a few keys items that are essential to all wildlife: Food, Water, Cover, a Place to Raise Young, and Sustainable Landscaping practices.
This not only creates habitat and connects green spaces in our urban and suburban landscapes (which comprises almost half of the land in the lower 48 states!), it is all about creating community and a culture of wildlife appreciation and knowledge that is passed on.
Please consider joining us. We have more interest in the program than we are able to accommodate. If you can take on one or two Mentees for 2018-2019, let me know. It basically involves meeting with your Mentee to view their yard, creating a design, instructing them on how to prep their yard for next year’s plantings, then transplanting plants next spring and fall. So if you plan well, it’s only a 3 day commitment, and you’d have help “weeding” next year! But the heart of the program is really about neighbors helping neighbors, and increasing knowledge about wildlife, native plants, and the crucial role we can play in helping to reverse habitat and species loss. I try to match people in the same general locale, but again, we just need more help, and someday the program just might expand to other neighborhoods and cities, too.
For more information, contact Daniel Schultz, Community Habitat Team