On a sunny September morning, 45 volunteers gathered at Audubon’s Kiowa Creek Ranch near Colorado Springs, Colorado, to plant a native garden. Throughout the day, they planted more than 300 native plants in a new Habitat Hero demonstration garden. We selected a range of native species that would provide a variety of food and cover types for wildlife throughout the year. In addition, volunteers constructed 25 birdhouses and 20 pollinator houses for added habitat value.
One really exciting part of this event was the diversity of volunteers. Cub Scouts, Colorado College students, Aiken Audubon Society members, and other Coloradans all joined to help. Some came to help birds, some came to learn more about native gardens, and some just came to spend a day in a beautiful place with like-minded people. This is really what Habitat Hero is about. We’re restoring habitat for birds, but in a way that builds community and empowers people who care about them.
Kiowa Creek Ranch is leased and managed by Corner Post Meats, certified by Audubon's Conservation Ranching Initiative, who regularly holds public events on site. Because of the number of people who visit the ranch, this an ideal place for a demonstration garden. Now, when people visit the ranch, they’ll also learn about the powerful role they can play to create bird habitat in their own gardens.
A few hours north in Fort Collins, another demonstration garden has been unveiled. By partnering with the City of Fort Collins, Poudre School District, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, we certified Lesher Middle School in Fort Collins, CO as a Habitat Hero! The students and partners participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to drum up some excitement around this project. Click through the slideshow below to see photos from these events.