June 30, 2010
- Wildlife Gardens
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Long Island
- Hudson Valley - Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Adirondacks - Adirondack Park Agency Visitors Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
A wildlife garden is a habitat that is home to a variety of wildlife, such as birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians. You don't need a lot of space to create a wildlife garden, just a few key elements that each of these creatures needs. It is best to use native plants in your wildlife garden-their blooms and fruits are part of the natural diet of animals, insects and birds. Native plants are also much easier to maintain. A wildlife garden doesn't just contain plants and flowers either. You can have a pond or a birdbath to welcome birds, frogs, newts, butterflies and dragonflies; nest boxes for birds, bees and bats, and dead trees or logs to provide shelter. Best of all, a wildlife garden doesn't require a lot of maintenance, nor does it need chemicals because it is a natural habitat. Watching wildlife come to eat, drink, nest and hide can be fun and relaxing too.
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Learn the best places to view wildlife at DEC's Watchable Wildlife pages.
Certify Your Wildlife Garden
The National Wildlife Federation has a Certified Wildlife Habitat program for people who create a wildlife garden. To be certified, your garden needs the following elements:
-Food sources such as native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries or nectar
-Water sources such as a water garden, birdbath, pond or stream
-Places for cover, including birdhouses, thickets or rock piles so that animals and birds can seek shelter from predators, people and weather
-Places to raise young, such as dense shrubs, nesting boxes or vegetation
-"Green" gardening features, including mulch, compost, a rain garden or chemical-free fertilizer
Younger children will enjoy a habitat hunt to search for diverse plant life that many creatures depend on for food and shelter. Write the following on separate index cards, making several of each: Leaf Shape, Color, Texture and Size. Using the cards, find an example of different kinds of plants. For example, on a leaf shape card you could write "smooth edges" or "yellow" on a color card. Look around the plant for signs of animals. These could include holes in leaves, eggs on the underside of a leaf, insects resting on leaves or the pollen or nectar in a flower, a hole in the ground, a path made by animals or a bird's nest. Write your findings on the cards to see which creatures prefer which plants. If you see a spider on a tall yellow flower with smooth leaves, you would write "spider" on each of the cards that describes the plant.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Lakeside Freshwater Clinic
Wednesday, July 14 at 6:00 PM (tentative)
Lake Ronkonkoma Park - Call I FISH NY at 631-444-0283 to register.
Basic Compass Use/Orienteering
Saturday, July 3 at 10:00 AM
Family Program: Open Barn
Saturdays, July - October from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday Afternoon Guided Nature Walks
Saturday, July 3 and July 10 at 2:00 PM
Nature Games for Kids and Their Caregivers
Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 AM
Herons and Their Kin
Saturday, July 3 at 9:00 AM
Annual Butterfly Census
Saturday, July 3 at 2:00 PM
Tuesday, July 6 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 AM
Saturday, July 10 at 2:00 PM
Tuesday, July 13 at 7:00 PM
Antlions: Ferocious Creatures in the Sand
Saturday, July 3 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Submerge Yourself: In the Aquatic Insects
Tuesday, July 6 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Wednesdays during July and August from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Friday, July 2 at 8:30 PM
Friday, July 09 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Chenango Greenway Hike
Saturday, July 10 from 9:00 AM to Noon
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Mushrooms, Mosses and Ferns
Saturday, July 3 at 10:30 AM