Supplement to “Environmentally Friendly Landscaping”
Want to learn how to get your backyard or school grounds certified with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Backyard Habitat Program? Call (502) 564-5280 to request a brochure. Then, fill out the brochure and mail it back in with $12 payment plus $2 shipping and handling fee to order your Backyard Wildlife Habitat Kit, which includes tips on how to build bird nest boxes, attract butterflies, and design a landscape plan that’s inviting to wildlife.
Once you complete your landscape plan and submit it for certification, your design will be reviewed by a committee who will award it, if acceptable, either a standard, silver, or gold-level certification.
The program has been popular with both homeowners and schools since its inception 12 years ago, says Mary Carol Cooper with the Salato Wildlife Education Center. “We sell a lot of kits,” she says.
More information about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques is available on the University of Kentucky’s Integrated Pest Management Web sites at www.uky.edu/Ag/IPM and www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/landipm.
For a comprehensive guide on how to get started composting, download the electronic file from the UK Cooperative Extension Service on Home Composting: A Guide to Managing Yard Waste at www.ca.uky.edu (type the publication title in the search box to locate this pdf file).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency also offers tips on environmentally friendly lawn care practices at www.epa.gov/greenkit/landscap.htm.
The Arboretum in Lexington, www.ca.uky.edu/arboretum; the Salato Wildlife Education Center, www.fw.ky.gov (click on Salato Wildlife Education Center on the left); and Pine Mountain Settlement School, www.pinemountainsettlementschool.com, all typically offer workshops on landscaping with native plants each year. Check their Web sites for class listings and availability.
For even more helpful hints on how to get started with an environmentally friendly lawn care plan, check out the informative online how-to videos on everything from organic lawn care to weed control to watering basics at www.SafeLawns.org. The site also offers listings of sources for organic compost, fertilizers, weed killers, and pest controls.
As evidence of the growing green landscape trend, the Web site and its foundation launched a campaign last year asking homeowners and businesses to sign a pledge to manage their lawns organically. It hopes to have one million acres of turf under organic management by 2010.
“If we can convert even one million acres of this land to organic management by 2010,” SafeLawns Executive Director Shepherd Ogden said at the campaign launch, “we will have a very significant impact on the soil, the water, the air, and our own health and the health of generations to come.”
To read the Kentucky Living March 2008 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Environmentally Friendly Landscaping.