The word conservation has several meanings: 1. Prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss. 2. Official supervision of rivers, forests, and other natural resources in order to preserve and protect them through prudent management. 3. A district, river, forest, etc., under such supervision. 4. The careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion. 5. The restoration and preservation of works of art.
With backyard conservation each of these definitions can apply on some level, improving the environment, helping wildlife and making your outdoor living space beautiful and enjoyable.
Trees are great for backyard conservation for many reasons: they help reduce cooling costs by shading the home, they provide homes for different types of wildlife, they add beauty to the backyard, and they help clean the air. When selecting trees for your backyard take into consideration your geographical area, landscape, and native plant species. Wildlife love shrubs and trees that bloom and bear fruit or nuts, as these can provide food throughout the year.
Water is another important element in backyard conservation. Whether you incorporate a backyard pond with logs and rocks—for birds, butterflies, and turtles—or a bird bath, fresh water provides nourishment for wildlife. If you choose to incorporate a small backyard pond, it can create a relaxing and beautiful environment for you and your family to enjoy. Make sure to plant native plant species around the pond to provide habitat for birds, frogs, and other small animals.
Composting is very beneficial for backyard conservation. Composting provides important nutrients to your soil, encourages plants to thrive, and improves aeration, structure, and water-holding capacity. For more information on composting read our previous post: How to Make Your Own Compost.
And, finally, water conservation can be beneficial for the environment and your plants. Water conservation tips include: choosing native plant species, as they are acclimated to the soil and weather conditions in your area; collecting rainwater to water your plants via rain barrels; preventing water evaporation by deeply watering your plants early in the morning; and mulching around your plants to help retain moisture in the soil.
Backyard conservation is relatively easy, and with thoughtful planning you can help protect and sustain your backyard in beneficial ways. With backyard conservation, you can save money, nuture and protect your personal environment, and beautify your surroundings.