As we all shelter at home, Conserving Carolina offers some entertaining diversion with Habitat at Home, a contest inviting children and adults to submit photos or videos of projects that improve pollinator and wildlife habitat at their homes or of wildlife observed at their homes. The contest runs through May 15.
“Our goal for this contest is that people will inspire each other to restore a great deal of wildlife habitat, a little at a time,” says Rose Jenkins Lane, Conserving Carolina’s communications and marketing director. “I know, for myself personally, it’s made a world of difference to watch the birds in our yard—like the song sparrows doing a lovebird dance by our bird bath this afternoon and the cedar waxwings and goldfinches flocking to our elm tree to eat buds.”
With parks and trails closed, Conserving Carolina staff members thought the contest would be a good way to remind homebound nature lovers that practicing conservation in our own backyards is also beneficial. Ways that participants might make their homes and yards more hospitable to insects and wildlife include gardening with native plants and installing bird boxes.
A drawing will be held for prizes donated by Bee City USA-Hendersonville, Milkweed Meadows Farm, New Leaf Garden, Spriggly’s Beescaping and Conserving Carolina’s land protection director Tom Fanslow. There will also be voters’ choice awards through social media.
“Conservation in parks and nature preserves isn’t enough,” Lane says. “Wild animals need more places to live and we all have a role to play.”
Conserving Carolina, formed in 2017 by the merger of Pacolet Area Conservancy and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, is a local land trust that protects lands in Henderson, Polk, Transylvania and Rutherford counties in NC and in the Landrum, SC area. Achievements spanning 30 years of conservancy include more than 45,000 acres protected and the completion, so far, of 35 miles of trails for the 130-mile Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail.
For full contest rules, visit ConservingCarolina.org/habitat-contest. Conserving Carolina publishes a Habitat at Home column with seasonal tips that can also be found on the website.