By Ashley Welch, Wildlife Admissions Specialist
Join PAWS Wildlife Center in planting a native species garden this spring and summer!
Why are native species gardens important?
Local wildlife is facing habitat loss and fragmentation in King and Snohomish counties. Providing natural food and habitat sources using native plants will not only give you a front row seat to view our spectacular wildlife, but also support our local wild animals.
Decide which species you want to attract to your garden.
Native species gardens can attract and support a wide variety of animals from small mammals, such as Douglas Squirrels or Little Brown Bats, to birds including Anna’s Hummingbirds, Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos.
You will also likely be supporting invertebrates such as butterflies and bees, which are important pollinators! Check out the Xerces Society website to learn how to support bees locally and the North American Butterfly Association website to learn how to support butterflies in your home garden. You may even be able to apply to become a Certified Butterfly Garden.
In addition to providing native plants, you can also provide artificial homes for wildlife. There are many resources available to show you how to build homes for bats, bees, and birds.
(Left to Right) Bird Nest Box, Tree Squirrel Nest Box, and Bee Nest Box.
- When building a native species garden, try to use natural methods for controlling pests – using pesticides can actually harm our native wildlife.
- Add a water source to attract native wildlife, but make sure to keep it clean!
- Work with knowledgeable staff at a local nursery specializing in native plant species
- Be careful when providing bird feeders, they may do more harm than good to our local wildlife.
- If your garden will include vegetables or fruit, prepare to either share your garden with local wildlife or find humane solutions to deter them from entering your garden.
If you are having difficulty finding resources that apply to your situation, please call PAWS Wildlife Center at 425-412-4040 for assistance. Keep in mind it is not always possible to keep out all of the local wildlife, but there are natural ways to minimize attractions.
An easy way to keep out visitors from vegetable garden is using wire fencing and netting.
Once you build your native species garden, sign up for the PAWS Shared Spaces Program to provide a starter home for newly released wild animals rehabilitated at PAWS Wildlife Center!
Inspired by our work? Consider making a donation today to help us continue providing vital care to wild animals in need.
Found a wild animal in need? Find out how PAWS can help
Interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation? Check out internship/externship opportunities at PAWS