1. to discover and identify the plants and animals living amongst us
2. to learn their habits and survival requirements
3. to implement landscaping and other wildlife accommodations, such as nest boxes, feeders, brush piles, rock piles, tree snags, ponds and other water features.
Meetings will alternate between trips to public greenspace and private homes. We'll search for plants and animals and learn how they function in our ecosystem. We'll take turns visiting meetup members' homes to evaluate their habitat potential and discuss improvements.
A knowledge of plants--their identification, nutritional value to wildlife, and cultural requirements--will serve a major role in our endeavor, since they are an ecosystem's foundation. All animals require plants--specific plants--for their survival. Even carnivores rely on plants to nourish their prey. We'll learn and share many techniques for creating habitat, but landscaping is key.
This meetup is chiefly intended for nature lovers who are upset to see wilderness vanish, and want to become actively involved in making a difference--starting with their own backyard (and frontyard). Many of you have enough greenspace around your homes to make an impact. There are also many that haven't got much more than a couple windowboxes or a single tree beside your apartment. While your options are limited, opportunities remain.
All suburban properties are landscaped to some extent; owners recognize the improved appearance and property value. Yet, the plants chosen are too often non-native, produce sterile blossoms, inedible fruit, situated in monocultures. Some of the problem lies with limited availability from nurseries and garden centers; the rest with uninformed consumers. So let's get informed! With a little insight, plants offering beauty and greater wildlife benefit can be substituted.
We love dogs, but many of our members prefer not to walk with them during our nature hikes--they can sometimes be a distraction when we are trying to observe wildlife.