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What is apartment conservation?
No yard? You can still take part in conservation!
Many Washington County residents live in apartments, townhouses, or other homes without yards. But that doesn’t mean they can’t take part in conservation! With a few simple steps, you can help reduce the impacts of urbanizationUrbanization The process of an area shifting from rural to urban land use. in small spaces such as patios, balconies, and windowsills.
How we can help:
- Start a container garden
You can provide pollinator habitat through container gardening. Potted plants, hanging baskets, and railing planters are all ways to introduce native plants to an apartment balcony or patio. Plus, if you move out of your apartment, you can always take your plants with you!
- Build wildlife structures
Even if you don’t have room to plant trees or large shrubs at your residence, you can still create shelter for wildlife by constructing wildlife structures. Many species, such as birds, bees, and bats, seek naturally occurring cavities for nesting, feeding, and rearing their young. You can support local wildlife by constructing birdhouses, bat boxes, and mason bee hotels that mimic natural cavities.Learn More About Creating Wildlife Habitat
- Provide fresh water
Clean, fresh water is as important for wildlife as it is for people. Providing a small fountain or water dish can help wildlife traverse the urban desert. Constructing birdbaths allows birds and other pollinators to bathe and drink during hot summers and extended droughts. Arranging rocks along the edge of the dish makes it easier for wildlife to get in and out of the water.Learn More About Creating Wildlife Habitat
- Construct a worm bin
Worms bins are a great way to be sustainable and help the environment. VermicultureVermiculture Composting with worms. is a process that uses red worms in a container to process compostable material into nutrient-rich soil. Keeping food scraps out of our garbage disposals and sewer system helps reduce the need to remove nutrients and solids from our wastewater.
- Reduce wildlife hazards
Window strikes are among the top three human-related causes of bird deaths, along with cats and habitat fragmentationHabitat Fragmentation The process of dividing up a naturally occurring landscape into smaller, disconnected pieces.. In the United States, up to 1 billion birds die each year due to collisions with windows. Birds see differently than humans; they see reflections of trees, shrubs, and sky as continuation of habitat. You can help prevent bird collisions by following Portland Audubon’s tips to prevent window strikes.
Keeping cats indoors reduces their impact on local wildlife. In addition, when you keep your cat safe at home, you minimize its exposure to all kinds of dangers: cars, predators, disease, and more.
Light pollution causes a variety of ecological disturbances. Birds, bats, and other nocturnal animals are significantly impacted by light pollution because they rely on moonlight and starlight to navigate. Those living in apartments or townhomes may have no control over changing lighting fixtures; however, you can make requests to your landlord or management company to install wildlife-friendly lighting, low-wattage bulbs, and even motion sensor lighting.
Backyard Habitat Certification Program
If your apartment complex or townhouse has a common area, consider enrolling in the Backyard Habitat Certification Program. The intent of the program is simple: it provides advice, financial incentives, encouragement, and recognition to people who want to create natural, low-maintenance gardens that support people, wildlife, and the planet.
If you are interested in learning which apartment conservation practices may be best for you, contact our Urban Conservation Specialist today! We can discuss your goals, provide free resources to help apply conservation at your residence, and more.