Plant List Lincoln has a new resource for sustainable living:  the Ecological Design, Construction and Maintenance Handbook.  The online handbook,  prepared by Angela Kearney for the Lincoln Conservation Commission,  describes best practices for balancing site construction and protection. If you are building a new home, adding to your existing home, planning a garden, or just dreaming of spring, you will find this handbook a wonderful guide. It can be seen on line by going to the Conservation page of the Town Website:

Pollen, Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed  Daniela found this interesting article. Milkweed and monarch butterflies

Sustainable Gardening Tips

This letter from David Mizejewski is shared by Daniela.

One of my favorite parts of being a naturalist at National Wildlife Federation is having the opportunity to educate folks on wildlife gardening. I thought you might enjoy hearing answers to four of the most frequently asked questions I receive.

How can I encourage good bugs in my garden, but discourage bad ones? The best way to avoid pest insects is to have a diverse garden with a variety of native plants. If you only have a few types of plants, you are more likely to attract that specific plant’s pests. It’s harder for pests to find plants when they are mixed in with lots of other species. Also, diversely planted gardens attract more beneficial insects and pest predators such as birds, dragonflies, toads and lizards.

What is the best way to attract honey bees to my yard? Native flowering plants are the biggest attractant for bees. That goes for honey bees and the thousands of native bee species—including bumble bees, mason bees, and more. Don’t forget that bees need water, too.

Where can I find native milkweed to attract monarch butterflies? There are a few dozen species of native milkweed. Some are wild plants that are best gotten through local native plant sales and plant swaps. Others are cultivated and commonly available in garden centers, such as swamp milkweed, butterflyweed and desert milkweed. Just be sure to ask which are best for your region.

How do you balance creating a brush pile as a habitat for wildlife with a fire-safety zone? If you live in a fire-prone area, brush piles are not the best idea. Instead, provide cover by building a rock pile or wall, by densely planting shrubs, installing roosting boxes, or protecting the existing native vegetation.

If you’re a Wildlife Gardener who hasn’t yet certified your garden with National Wildlife Federation, we’d love to have you join the ranks of some of the most dedicated friends of wildlife by certifying your space as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat® site!

Join our community of over 150,000 like-minded individuals—certify today!


David Mizejewski
NWF Naturalist, Media
Spokesperson, Author

P.S. When you certify your yard today, you’ll be eligible to purchase one of our beautiful yard signs to proudly display the fact that your garden is wildlife-friendly.