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Video Transcript: Sustainable Gardening

(Description: Video opens with “Save the Song Birds” at top and the National Wildlife Federation logo on lower left and Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop logo on lower right. Then in large letters in center appears “Certify Your Yard” then a man appears in a backyard.)

[David:] Hey everyone. Naturalist David Mizejewski, with the National Wildlife Federation. Today, we’re going to talk about sustainable gardening. Now, all wildlife, including birds, need four things to survive:

(Description: “Certify Your Yard” appears at the top of the screen while icons for the five required components appear: Food, Water, Cover, Places to Raise Young, and Sustainable Gardening, then Sustainable Gardening appears alone.)

[David:] their food, water, cover, and places to raise young, and you can provide those right in your own yard or garden. But it’s also important that you maintain that yard or garden in kind of a natural environmentally-friendly way. We call that sustainable gardening. So, what does that mean? Well, it means first and foremost, not using a lot of toxic pesticides in your yard, and that could be insecticides which kill off the insects that birds rely on as a critical source of food, and which, by the way, are also important wildlife in and of themselves. But also things like herbicides, which are going to kill off a lot of native plants that are providing natural sources of food to the birds, like seeds or berries and actually support caterpillars which the birds eat as well and feed their babies. So say “no” to the pesticides in your yard.

You can also do things like practice water conservation. Try not to plant things that can’t survive and thrive with just the natural levels of rainfalls. And if you plant native plants in your yard they’re perfectly evolved to survive and thrive just with the natural levels of rainfall. By the way, your lawn is not a native plant and lawns are very very water hungry, so minimize the size of your lawn. That’s a great way to practice sustainable gardening as well. You can do things like recycling your yard waste by composting it and then using that as a natural fertilizer.

So, there’s lots of different ways that you can garden sustainably, and when you provide those four components of habitat: food, water, cover, places to raise young, and you garden sustainably, those are the five things that you need in order to have your yard or garden certified by the National Wildlife Federation. Now, you can go into any of your local Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Stores and ask the Bird Specialists there, and they can tell you all about it.

(Description: The Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop logo appears.)