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Native Plants and Sustainable Habitats

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Use this topic to post information regarding the use of native plants and development of sustainable habitats.

Backyard Habitat Programs - A Database Compiled by Bird Town Pennsylvania

Bird Town Pennsylvania has developed a list of habitat friendly certification/registration programs that are available to property owners. Some of these certifications can be used by large properties as well as a variety of residential sized gardens. This is not a finite list. If you are aware of another organization that is certifying habitat for property owners, please connect with Bird Town Pennsylvania.



National Areas Association Refreshed YouTube Channel: Science Based Natural Areas Content, Easily Accessible

Success in land and water conservation requires timely, relevant, and effective research, strategies and methods. It was this truth that led George B. Fell to establish the NAA in the early 1970’s,and remains NAA’s mission today. NAA will celebrate 50 years in October of 2024 - in recognition of this milestone, NAA will continue to share relevant training and resources via this YouTube Channel.

Subscribe to the channel to receive:

Access natural areas conservation science

  • Wherever you are located
  • Wherever you are in your career
  • Wherever you are in your practice.

Content is searchable by topic and keywords - making it even easier for you to find the science-based content, new methodologies and best practices you need.

Cumberland County Master Gardener Helping Pollinator Population

Article published July 27, 2023 by ABC News 27 WHTM

The Thoughtful Gardner, Heather Andrews became a Cumberland County master gardener during the pandemic and chose to specialize in pollinator plants.  Since then, she's been giving back to the community by educating people on the importance of planting natives and plants that will attract and feed pollinators. READ MORE.

Interior Department Takes Action to Strengthen Endangered Species Protections

Article published June 30, 2023 by US Department of the Interior

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced significant action to better facilitate species recovery by providing more flexibility for the introduction of threatened and endangered species to suitable habitats outside their historical ranges. This announcement helps to advance President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative, which supports healthy wildlife and wildlife habitat by supporting voluntary, locally led conservation efforts across the country. READ MORE.

Investing in America Agenda Funds Over $5M for Endangered Species Recovery

Published July 20, 2023 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service

WASHINGTON - The Inflation Reduction Act is enabling the Department of the Interior to play a leading role in the transition to a clean energy economy, advancing key habitat restoration, land resilience and water projects and securing environmental justice for historically disadvantaged communities. Guided by a recently released restoration and resilience framework, the Department is implementing an overall $2 billion investment from the Investing in America agenda to restore lands and waters and advance climate resilience. READ MORE.

New Legislation Would Establish USDA Label for Pollinator Safe Plants

Published June 27, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

PORTLAND - PORTLAND, Ore., Jun. 27, 2023 — On Friday, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced new legislation that would create a pollinator-friendly plant labeling program, modeled after the Organic Foods Production Act that created organic labeling. The program would require the Department of Agriculture to create a certification program for plant producers in order to certify that their plants are not treated with pesticides harmful to monarchs and other pollinators. READ MORE.

PA Department of Ag: Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Managment (PRISM) - How Pennsylvania Can Reduce Invasive Species

A project of the Governor's Invasive Species Council

The council proposes establishment of a permanent, state budget funded Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) program that would cover the state to meet the critical need to reduce invasive species that threaten our economy, environment, and human and animal health.

If funded, the PRISM program would establish and fund local host organizations in six regions statewide. Each host would use this funding to form a large, diverse partnership of regional stakeholders to implement invasive species prevention, education, and management.

Each regional PRISM would:

  • Monitor, manage, and eradicate invasive species.
  • Develop early detection and rapid response capacity.
  • Provide education and outreach.
  • Preserve ecosystem services, native species, critical habitats, and threatened and endangered species.
  • Increase resilience of green spaces in urban and natural environments.
  • Protect and improve soil, air, and water quality.
  • Mitigate invasive species contributions to climate change.

Each regional PRISM would create and leverage a large pool of local resources and knowledge.

Many states, such as New York, Michigan, and Florida, have implemented some form of permanent regional invasive species management program.

The New York PRISM program consists of eight regional PRISMs, contracted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and funded through a real estate transfer tax. They implement invasive species prevention programs, conduct surveillance and mapping of infestations, detect new infestations early and respond rapidly, carry out control projects, implement habitat restoration and monitoring, and provide extensive education to residents on invasive species and their impacts.

Voice your support for PRISM

Consider contacting your state legislators to voice your support for funding PRISM. For more information, contact council coordinator Kris Abell at [email protected].

Penn State Awarded $140,000 for Biodiversity Research, Conservation

Olivia Bosar, PA Outdoors, February 15

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – Penn State has been awarded a combined total of over $140,000 of state funding to support its work in biodiversity projects to protect local natural habitats.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) under the Wild Resources Conservation Program awarded the university monies to support three separate studies aimed at preserving native plant and fish species.

The three grants from DCNR to Penn State are:

  • $42,591 to support a statewide project that will develop a recovery plan for the rapidly declining plant, Scarlet Paintbrush which is considered a threatened species in the state.
  • $43,333 to help fund a statewide project that will conduct studies on the taxonomy and distribution narrow-leaf ramps, a newly discovered native plant species with 13 locations in southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • $54,845 will support a project in Centre County that will investigate the influence of dissolved oxygen on the distribution and habits of the Chesapeake Logperch, a rare fish that can be found in Pennsylvania.

What is a Miyawaki Forest? 

From Katherine Hayhoe, Talking Climate Newsletter, April 6

All around the world, people are planting tiny forests full of native plants on plots of land as small as a tennis court! These tiny forests — also called pocket forests, mini forests, and, in the U.K., “wee” forests — are based on principles developed in the 1970s by a Japanese botanist named Akira Miyawaki.

Want to learn more? Watch this video on the first tiny forest in Massachusetts and consider starting one where you live. It’s a great project to do with kids and your community!


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