2014 Habitat Hero Applications are in!

Our Mission: Grow a network of habitat for songbirds and pollinators in gardens across the Rocky Mountains and beyond, save water for our streams and rivers, and restore our joy in nature every day. 

Inspiration from the Applications

Habitat Hero Garden sign

We're still evaluating Habitat Hero applications, but we thought we'd share a few photos from some of the applications to inspire you about how creative wildscapes and habitat-gardening can be.

Who needs a Suburban lawn?

Beautiful plant combinations that provide great habitat--you can't go wrong with that combination!

Lawn? Not when you could have this diverse and flourishing landscape with many different kinds of flowers blooming throughout the year, plus water for birds, a charming array of bird boxes, brush piles, shrubs, and trees. It's a cottage garden on steroids (except it uses no chemicals whatsoever).

Edibles and Pollinators in a City Yard

No wonder they owners of this city garden have seen more than 30 different kinds of bees already!

Look at this first-year backyard edible garden with a flourishing border for pollinators along side. The front yard features a wide new wildscape border that replaced lawn with habitat that has the neighbors buzzing (in a good way).

Cold-Desert Sheltered Garden

Look what you can do in zone 4 with 8 inches of annual precipitation (and wind--note the wind generator in the background)!

On the windy and very cold shrub-steppe of northern Wyoming's Big Horn Basin, this couple enclosed their yard with a low stucco wall for shelter and created a hummingbird paradise that also attracts songbirds, butterflies and smaller pollinators.

Habitat beautifies a Busy City Corner

Who could pass this garden by without stopping to admire it--or feed from the flowers and seeds it provides?

Instead of high-water, high-fertilizer annuals, this landscape designer and infill developer chose to honor the site of Denver's first botanic gardens with perennial beds that feed and shelter pollinators and hummingbirds. And foster a sense of community through the volunteer garden group that maintains them and educates neighborhood residents about the gardens.

From Pfitzer Junipers and Lawn to Front-Yard Wildscape

Much more curb appeal than the overgrown junipers and ragged lawn that grew here in 2010.

... In only four years! We guess the butterflies and hummingbirds are much happier with this front yard than the old one. Another suburban habitat standout, and it's also xeric and chemical free.

A Schoolyard Garden Recreates Natural Habitats

The prairie garden, visible from every hallway in the school.

Three gardens in the center of this grade school replaced grass and gravel with a prairie, woodland, and a conifer forest. The habitat gardens are younger than the grade-schoolers who planted them, but already provide inspiration and education to the kids and their teachers.

A Small-Town Trail (once a Railroad Grade) Restored to Habitat Corridor

Conservation Corps members built and installed bluebird boxes along a stretch of the trail being restored to native mountain prairie.

Inspired by the urban creek restoration project of one of the original Habitat Heroes featured in Colorado Wildscapes, a small-town trail system faced with growing invasive weed and fire-prevention issues decided to see the problems as an opportunity to restore 2.5 miles of trail as a linear habitat, a corridor for people and wildlife.

More to Come...

The photos and brief descriptions above are only a sampling of the many applications we received. We're evaluating them now, and will announce the 2014 Habitat Hero Awards in November. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories and landscapes.

Thanks to all who applied!

Join Audubon RockiesPlant Select® and High Country Gardens in promoting wildscaping. Be a Habitat Hero.

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