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Natives in Bloom: March-April
We're looking out for native flowers all year long. Dozens of native species are in bloom now and many may be good additions to your yard to support pollinators. Click through the slideshow to view.
NO MOW MAY, LOW MOW MAY, AND SPRING CLEANUP
With warming temperatures and buds breaking, you may be thinking about garden cleanup and tuning up your lawn mower. Did you know that your lawn and yard is critical to native bees and pollinators in early Spring? Over 100 species of bees rely on wildflowers in lawns in April and May before other flowers peak.
CHECK OUT our beautiful No Mow May sign, featuring Massachusetts wildflowers and pollinators found in lawns, designed by local artist Jenn Houle. Reserve your sign today under Events!
If you left your leaves and stems last fall, it's not time to do spring clean up yet. They are still harboring hibernating insects and toads. So, put down the rake, and enjoy the early Spring air. If you're itching for garden work, the next month is a great time to remove invasive shrubs and vines-- these thawing temperatures makes pulling invasives super easy and effective.
LIGHTS OUT TO HELP BIRDS MIGRATE
Twice a year, birds fly hundreds to thousands of miles between wintering and breeding grounds. When birds migrate, they mainly fly at night, navigating by the stars in the night sky. Improperly installed night lights disorient migrating birds, causing them to veer off-course or collide with building. You can help migrating birds by doing a few simple things:
Turn off outside lights during migration (April, May, Sept, October).
Use down shields to direct light to avoid lighting up the sky and to reduce glare.
Avoid blue lights for outdoor use.
To learn more about how you can help birds, visit: Lights Outs. This NY Times article opinion provides further tips,
Visit our Dark Skies Campaign to learn about its benefits.
"BIG NIGHT" MIGRATION
Every spring, salamanders and frogs clamor out of their underground hibernacula and make their way back to shallow depressions in the forest that fill with rain and snowmelt. These vernal or temporary ponds serve as breeding habitat for many species and are vital to their survival. Unfortunately, many frogs and salamander have to cross roads to get there. So, on rainy nights from March to May, where temperatures are above 40F, be careful when driving roads where wetlands to avoid running over these critters. Want to help us figure out where the frogs and salamanders are? Help us map them using iNatualist here.
LEAVE AND STEMS FOR POLLINATORS
This fall, instead of raking and baggings leaves for the landfill, consider leaving the leaves. Raked under trees and shrubs, leaves are free mulch to suppress weeds and will fertilize your plants as it breaks down next year. Many wildlife including insects, frogs, and mammals overwinter in fallen leaves. Leaves also support micro-organisms in the soil to keep plant healthy and disease free. Check out this guide from the Xeces Society on creating overwintering and nesting habitat for pollinators.
WEST NEWBURY WILD AND NATIVE NAMED CITIZEN OF THE YEAR--
May 2022-- At the Annual Town Meeting, Select Woman Wendy Reed announced this year’s Citizen of the Year award winner was West Newbury Wild and Native. She recognized WN2's efforts to preserving the natural ecosystem of the planet one yard at a time, and the accomplishments the group made since it formed less than two years ago.
West Newbury Wild and Native is dedicated to sharing information and resources for residents of West Newbury to integrate native plants into their gardening, support pollinators and work to eradicate invasive plants in our yards and Town-owned lands.
To learn more and discover how you can garden native, check out our resources section under Campaigns - Native.
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