Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

Tag Archives: NWF

TWO Habitat Talks on garden prep, design, & planning – Free 1/10/15

JANUARY 10 (2 Sessions)

(9:30-11am) Winter Garden Maintenance and Prepping the Garden for Spring
Learn how to assess shrubs and small trees for health and beauty and learn how to trim overgrown areas (and what to trim) as necessary to make way for spring blooms.
Instructor: Cathy Nordstrom, Sans Souci Gardens
REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION

(1-4pm) Design and Planning for a Successful Habitat Garden
Learn the basic elements of site assessment and how to transform a traditional “lawn-scape” into a haven for wildlife. If you have one, please bring a copy of the survey of your property to class.
Instructor: Marya Fowler, National Wildlife Federation
REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION

“Habitat Talks” happen at Discovery Hill Outdoor Learning Center located at the Science and Health Resource Center in Austin ISD. Discovery Hill is a National Wildlife Federation premier demonstration habitat that NWF funded and implemented in AISD in 2013.

For more information about the sequence of talks in 2014-2015, go to http://www.nwf.org/South-Central-Region/temp_event_AUS_HabitatTalks.aspx

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Habitat Talk about Birds – Free on 11/8

NOVEMBER 8 – Birds in the Winter Garden

(9:30-11am) Learn how to keep birds happy through the winter, what you might expect to see, and some of the best native plants to sustain birds during the cold months.
Instructor: Ryan Fleming, Wildewoode Landscapes
REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION

“Habitat Talks” happen at Discovery Hill Outdoor Learning Center located at the Science and Health Resource Center in Austin ISD. Discovery Hill is a National Wildlife Federation premier demonstration habitat that NWF funded and implemented in AISD in 2013.

For more information about the sequence of talks in 2014-2015, go to http://www.nwf.org/South-Central-Region/temp_event_AUS_HabitatTalks.aspx

Tending the Fall Habitat Garden (free workshop on 10/11)

OCTOBER 11 – Tending the Fall Habitat Garden

(9:30-11am) The class will cover fall maintenance, seed collection, and suggested plantings. After discussion, participants will be able to practice what they have learned in the garden and help with seed collecting.
Instructor: Judy Walther, Environmental Survey Consulting

Hope to see you there.

You must:
REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION

For a description of the full series (October-May) please click on the following link. http://www.nwf.org/South-Central-Region/temp_event_AUS_HabitatTalks.aspx

How Academic Performance Can Be Improved By Connecting Kids to Nature (free talk, 10/5)

How Academic Performance Can Be Improved By Connecting Kids to Nature

Sun, 10/05/2014 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Research shows that environment-based learning is an effective means of engaging students in core subject areas such as math and science. Marya Fowler, Senior Education Manager for National Wildlife Federation will show how and why schoolyard habitats and outdoor classrooms help students learn.

Prior to joining NWF in 1999, Marya taught for several years at the secondary level. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning/Landscape Design and worked in the field of landscape design, creating restoration management plans for habitat and wildlife using native plants. As Senior Education Manager for NWF’s South Central Regional Center, Marya focuses on the advancement of NWF’s K-12 school-based programming in the region, including Eco-Schools USA, Schoolyard Habitats and global warming education and literacy, with an emphasis on integrating these programs at the state/school district levels and promoting environmental education as a means to improving student academic performance.

Host(s):

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Pubic Affairs Forum, Green Sanctuary Committee, 4700 Grover, Austin, Texas

2014 Neighborhood Habitat Challenge (Pollinator Garden Challenge) Started April 15 – Nov 15

Meredith Gray, Conservation Program Coordinator, Sustainable Urban Agriculture & Community Gardens & Wildlife Austin Program in Austin, TX, has announced the new 2014 Wildlife Austin Neighborhood Habitat Challenge and it is The Pollinator Garden Challenge! Neighborhoods are once again challenged to create wildlife friendly yards using native plants, but with an added challenge of supporting our pollinators with specific plant palettes and garden husbandry. This spring, make a home for bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, hummingbirds in your backyard.  

The great thing about this program is that it is completely FREE! Once you’ve created your new garden, it is free to get certified through the City of Austin – they pay the fee for you when you request a pre-paid habitat certification application. To get the application or for contest details contact the Wildlife Austin program: 512-978-2606 or http://www.austintexas.gov/department/wildlife-austin

The Habitat Challenge is an annual competition hosted by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Wildlife Austin program.  To compete in the challenge, participants create backyard habitats in their neighborhoods based on criteria developed by the National Wildlife Federation, which include providing food sources, water sources, cover, and places to raise young for local wildlife.

In 2014, neighborhoods are once again challenged to create wildlife friendly yards using native plants, but with an added challenge of supporting our pollinators with specific plant palettes and garden husbandry.  This spring, make a home for bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, hummingbirds in your backyard.  The top three neighborhoods that complete all the requirements and certify the most new habitats between April 15th and November 15th, 2014 will be recognized by the City of Austin and eligible for prizes.

This challenge extends to people with NWF-certified gardens and those who are just starting to add natives to their ecosystem (remember it can be an arrangement of pots on your balcony, not necessarily a large garden.) Following are the steps to follow.

  1. Download the Habitat Challenge Flyer (PDF): habitatchallengeflyer2014
  2. Download the Pollinator Garden Requirements for 2014 Habitat Challenge (DOC): Pollinator Garden Requirements for Habitat Challenge 2014

For those with habitats who are NOT yet certified through the National Wildlife Federation (NWF):

  1. We ask that if you are not already certified with the NWF for backyard habitat, that you fill out both applications – the Pollinator Garden Requirements and the NWF application.  Wildlife Austin has a certain number of prepaid NWF applications that are given out first come, first serve.  Please email us at wildlife@austintexas.gov with your mailing address if you are interested. We can help you submit your NWF application to certify your backyard habitat.
  2. Please submit the Pollinator Garden Challenge Requirements (attached here) to wildlife@austintexas.gov.
  3. Please note that when you complete the minimum requirements for the Pollinator Garden Challenge, you also complete the NWF habitat requirements.  By participating in the Pollinator Garden Challenge, you can pick up the NWF certification along the way!

For those with habitats who ARE already certified through the National Wildlife Federation:

  1. Congrats on deciding to further improve your backyard habitat!  Please fill out the Pollinator Garden Challenge Requirements (attached here) and submit to wildlife@austintexas.gov.

For everyone:

  1. To win the Challenge, the neighborhood will participate in a community habitat project such as removing invasive plants, planting trees, restoring a creek area, or planting a neighborhood butterfly garden.
  2. Additionally, participating neighborhoods will publish an article about the habitat challenge published in neighborhood newsletter and/or website.

By the way, I’m game to lead a community habitat project. Please let me know if you are interested in a project. I can also easily write an article about the challenge.

Native Plant Swap 5/3/14

Another great event is coming in about a month: PLANT SWAP! This is hosted up in the Hyde Park neighborhood but all are welcome. Start potting up some of your natives to exchange for others. See you there!

CONFIRMED DATE for 2014 Spring swap: Saturday, May 3rd
Location: Mother’s Cafe and Garden Parking Lot; 4215 Duval St, Austin, TX 78751
(THANK YOU MOTHER’S)
Time: Around dawn until 9:30am

Attached is a picture of a small sampling of plants that I have so far for the swap: Fall Aster, American Elderberry, Mexican Feathergrass, Skullcap, Cowpen Daisy, LOTS of milkweed to be given away to swap participants (will send pics of milkweed seedlings later).

Spread the word…the more people that know about it, the more great plants to choose from!
Carleen
Hancock resident
NWF Habitat Steward
Picture of native plants in pots on rack

Natives potted up

Go to the Rocky Mountains (Estes Park) for Free!

Do you have a 8-18 year old who loves the outdoors? Are you available between July 7-13, 2012 to go to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado? Then, you should encourage your son or daughter to write a no-more-than 3 page essay to apply for the 3rd Annual Tufts Scholarship. Hurry – you only have through March 30th. And make sure your son/daughter writes the essay – not you. As a teacher, I can tell you that it’s pretty clear when a student or a parent does the homework for school.  Here’s more information and a link:

NWF and the Tufts Family are seeking nominations (from students between ages of 8-18) to apply for the award.
The award winner and a chaperone will attend a week long educational adventure with the Family Summit Inc program.  This year the nature adventure will be in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
Students need to submit an essay along with a completed nomination form by March 30th to be eligible.  You can learn more and download the nomination form at:
www.nwf.org/craigtufts

The Fund finances an annual award that recognizes an individual between the ages of 8 and 18 who displays an interest in the natural world, aiming to foster that interest and encourage a lifelong path of environmental study. The Fund provides an opportunity for a young person to experience NWF’s mission of inspiring individuals of all ages to care about and protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Good luck, and I hope someone from Austin, Texas wins. (Or my nieces in Wisconsin or nephews/nieces in California!)

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