Native Plants Backyard Challenge

Natives in Harmony

Looking for a new project for your yard that the whole family can enjoy?  Columbus Audubon and the Grange Insurance Audubon Center (GIAC) have teamed up to create a Native Plants Backyard Challenge.

We are looking for 100 people/families in Central Ohio who would like to transform or further develop their backyards into native habitats. Not only will you be able to learn some simple, cost-effective steps to create this native wildlife habitat, but you will also have the opportunity to participate in a Community Science Project that will help to support the importance of native plant habitats in increasing and preserving biodiversity.

The fee to participate is just $25 if you are an Audubon member, or $40 if not – which includes a membership!  The fee covers the following:

  • A “tool kit” that includes:
    • Initial yard survey instructions and accompanying information.
    • List of native plants, ideal planting conditions, bloom schedule, and specific birds and insects that are attracted to and depend on each plant.
    • A list of invasive plants to avoid, identification, negative impacts, and tips on how to control these plants.
    • Schedule of events with monthly speaker information (for now, events will be virtual).
    • A few extras to help you with your gardens.
  • A seed buffet and seed plugs to get you started.
  • You will also have the opportunity to purchase a sign for your yard indicating your participation in the project (additional fee of $25).

Here are some dates to remember:

  • Nov – Dec, 2020: Registration
  • Jan, 2021: Challenge Kick Off
    • Pick up your tool kit at GIAC (this will be socially-distanced).
    • Participate in a presentation via Zoom (this will be recorded and made available online if you are not able to attend).
    • Identify and log your first Year Bird!
  • Jan – Mar, 2021: Participants plan their gardens.
  • Feb – Mar, 2021: Seed Buffet/Pick up plant plugs at GIAC. This will also include instructions on:
    • What’s In My Yard? – how to perform a backyard BioBlitz.
    • How to collect monthly data.
  • Mar 20th, 2021: Survey and counting begins!
  • May, 2021: Pick up plant plugs at GIAC, and a plant sale to purchase additional plugs and plants. The sale will be available both in person and virtually.
  • First of each month: Share Out – share what’s happening.
  • Sept – early Nov: Harvest your seeds and share event (seed collection, plant/seed swap).
  • Nov – Jan, 2022: Data collection/first Bird of the Year
  • Reunion – date to be determined: What did we learn? Prep. for second year data and recruitment for new participants.

A link to join will be available on November 1 on the websites and Facebook pages for Grange Insurance Audubon Center or Columbus Audubon.