October 6, 2009
A Humane Backyard
A place for people, pets, and wild creatures
What is a Humane Backyard™? It’s a place for harmony between people, their pets, and the wild creatures who share outdoor spaces surrounding urban and suburban homes.
When you embark on making your yard (or deck, or roof, or any outdoor space) a humane backyard, you are fostering beauty, pleasure and, not incidentally, understanding.
It’s ecologically sound
Maintaining a humane backyard uses no products or practices that harm animals to preserve a natural landscape and enhance the natural diversity of green space. The idea builds on an exciting national trend aimed at fostering ecologically sound communities.
Residents with humane backyards are generally rewarded with lower water usage and less maintenance. They enjoy a more natural relationship with their surroundings and inevitably gain a deeper appreciation of nature. Wildlife populations benefit from this wiser understanding of habitat and animal behavior. Tired old conflicts between wildlife and homeowners are reduced.
You might think of it this way: Every home is a nature preserve in waiting.
Any space can be a humane backyard
Whether you have a container garden on an apartment balcony, a townhouse with a sliver of ground, an average suburban yard, a sprawling corporate property, or a community park, you have the potential to make things better for wild animals, and of course, yourself.
- A hanging flower on an inner-city balcony serves as a stopover for migrating hummingbirds.
- A yard free of pesticides and herbicides becomes forage for insect-eating birds.
- A corporate campus becomes an amazing refuge where diverse animals survive, and thrive.
Transform your community
The Humane Backyard™ begins with simple and practical steps. Landscapes are reshaped incrementally to attract songbirds and butterflies, to deter wildlife species with whom conflicts occur, and, above all, to humanely resolve conflicts when they do happen. Connect one humane backyard to many, and entire communities are transformed; the relationship between humans and animals revitalized.
Where do you live? Next time you are asked, imagine this answer: Where? I live in the city; I share in the wild.
Create a Sanctuary
Enjoy the company of your wild neighbors in your humane backyard. Every day, more and more wildlife habitat is lost to the spread of development. But you can help wild animals in urban and suburban areas by offering them sanctuary in your own backyard (or front yard, roof-top garden, or deck), no matter how small. Learn how your green space can become an Urban Wildlife Sanctuary.