So what does it take to be a Habitat Hero? Simply, this is a gardener who is willing to adjust his or her practices to nurture and sustain plants and animals that have evolved together in a given area. Colorado’s native perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees have adaptations that have allowed them to survive and thrive in both heavy clay and rocky soils, temperatures that range from -20°F to over 100°F, desiccating winds, low humidity, intense sunshine, hail, drought and floods.
As the local gardening season starts in March, we are co-hosting an information packed seminar with Boulder County Audubon Society. We have a stellar line-up:
- Entomologist Dr. Mike Weissmann giving a talk on garden insects entitled, The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful.
- Dr. Adrian Carper, post-doctoral bee ecologist at CU Boulder, will amaze you as to the habits and the truly astounding variety of our native bee species.
- Steve Boricious, a long time orchardist, gardener, hummingbird expert and bander, will tell you how to invite these flying jewels into your home gardens.
- Jamie Weiss, Habitat Hero coordinator for Audubon Rockies will explain Audubon Rockies' Habitat Hero program.
Most everyone associates the National Audubon Society and local chapters with birds, for birds are why this organization was originally established and they remain a major focus of all of our conservation efforts. Yet, the birds cannot survive without the plants and insects with which they evolved. Birds cannot raise their broods without the protein in insects. Our native insects cannot assimilate the chemicals in non-native plants. Therefore, Habitat Heroes, by understanding these ecological principles, will be stewards of a complex ecosystem.
Gaillardia aristata. Photo: Evan Barrientos/Audubon Rockies