Wildlife Garden Inspiration

Get out in your habitat garden this summer and start capturing moments to share in the 2nd annual Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest opening for entries on August 5, 2019!

The inaugural Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest launched last fall encouraged submissions that highlight the impact of habitat gardens on wildlife and people alike. Over 2,500 stunning photos captured an array of creative and inspiring moments showcasing the power, breadth, and impact of habitat gardens.

Some samples of photographer’s stories below each illustrate one of the key elements of a wildlife garden: Food, Water, Cover, Places to Raise Young and Sustainable Practice. Read about these faces of Garden for Wildlife and get a close-up of how they are inspired by the program to make a difference in their yards. 

Credit: Shannon Modla.

Food

Native food sources are a critical component of habitat for wildlife such as hummingbirds. Local native plant sales are a great place to visit to add plants to attract wildlife to your garden. The nectar in native honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens) can be enjoyed by ruby-throated hummingbirds, while the birds and flowers provide beautiful images for photographers like Shannon Modla.

Cover

Credit: Julia Bartosh.

Wildlife, like these chipmunks, need places to find shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or stalk prey. Adding to brush piles in your yard will welcome wildlife like these two pups and their siblings that photographer Julia Bartosh has watched grow and move out on their own.

Water

Credit: Donna Burrus.

Clean drinking water is essential for wildlife to survive. You can provide a bird bath or fountain or any natural water source on your property can count. Photographer, Donna Burrus captured the Fayette Academy High School Ecology Club in Sommerville, Tennessee creating a water ecosystem at their outdoor classroom Certified Wildlife Habitat® The flowing water provides the water necessary to support the wildlife who visit their habitat and students like Max Phillips work to rebuild the waterfall, stream and reline the small pond.

Places to Raise Young

Credit: Brian Rogers.

Wildlife need a sheltered place to raise their offspring. Mature trees, wetlands and nesting boxes provide wildlife a place to bear and raise their young. You can enhance the habitat by building your own. Photographer Brian Rogers’ father built a squirrel box and by spring, Brian saw young squirrels poking their heads out ready to explore the backyard for the first time.

Sustainable Practices

Credit: Jim Mullahy

How you manage your garden can have an effect on the health of the soil, air, water, and habitat for native wildlife. The certified ‘Brotman-yard’ shows the contrast of plants and wildlife observed versus their more conventional suburban neighbor. This proud Certified Wildlife Habitat® homeowner controls exotic species and focuses on organic practices to encourage owl, deer, foxes and even grandchildren to visit their yard.

To see more wonderful examples from this past year’s photo contest check out our grand prize winners and honorable mentions. #Garden4Wildlife

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