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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

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Stewarding in Place

As we are all spending more time at home, it can be difficult to feel productive in the stewardship of our natural areas. We know sitting still can be hard, especially for the many go-getters who often attend our volunteer events. Being stuck at home doesn’t mean that your stewardship efforts have to stop. Now is a great time to practice stewarding in place!

Stewardship work varies and doesn't always have to be done out in wild places. You can steward at home in your garden or backyard by planting native species, removing invasive species, and enhancing wildlife habitat!

Why Steward in Place?

Many of the invasive species we spend countless hours pulling at Skagit Land Trust properties are often spread from people’s gardens. By stewarding in place, you can improve the habitat of both your yard and of the wild places we all love to recreate in! Stewarding in place is exactly what it sounds like – caring for the land in your yard or garden and helping make it more hospitable and welcoming to native species, all while staying close to home. Below are some ideas and resources for you to engage in stewardship at home.

Remove Invasive Species

One of the easiest ways to steward in place is to remove noxious weeds from your yard or garden. Noxious weeds are invasive species that are harmful to native ecosystems, livestock, or people. Below is a list of just a few noxious weeds that you may find in your garden. Click the name of the plant to go to the Washington Noxious Weed Control Board website for each species to learn more!

English Ivy

Butterfly Bush

Yellow Archangel

Himalayan Blackberry

English ivy is an aggressive invasive plant that is still found in many gardens and urban areas. It creeps along the ground and climbs up trees and shrubs. Ivy removal is a common focus of Skagit Land Trust work parties.

To learn more about noxious weeds, identify a weed in your yard, or for guidance in the removal of these weeds, please consult the Washington Noxious Weed Control Board.

Make Plans for your Garden

Enhancing your backyard habitat takes a bit of planning and thought. What better time to do that than now? While you’re at home, start looking into ways to introduce native plants and make your garden more wildlife friendly. Below are some ideas and resources to help you design your yard and garden!

Enhance Pollinator Habitat:
90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops require animal pollinators for reproduction, according to the book, The Forgotten Pollinators. Creating pollinator habitat can support the health of these busy workers.

The Nature Conservancy, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, Washington Native Plant Society, and Puget Sound Bees all have great articles and resources for getting started on your pollinator garden.

Red Flowering Currant is a great plant for your garden. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also great for pollinators! Photo by: Christine Kitch

Help Conserve our Water Resources:

RainScape Brochure.pdf

Get your garden certified as wildlife habitat!
Consult the National Wildlife Federation check list to see what features you already have in your garden, or what ones you can add to make it more inviting to wildlife.

Reduce your ecological footprint by growing your own veggies:
Oregon State University is offering their Vegetable Gardening course and Intro to Oregon Master Gardener course for free through April. State University Extension’s Master Gardeners program also has a wealth of articles to assist with you backyard gardening adventure.

We encourage you all to spend some time over the next month getting to know your backyard and figure out what projects you can work on. Be sure to check out our website and social media pages to see our weekly invasive species challenge – you could win a prize! Until then, stay home, stay safe, and steward in place!

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