By: Anna Graether, Board Member of The Resilient Activist
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the woodland and prairie plants of Kansas and Missouri: the spring ephemerals I learned about as a child while meandering the woods with my mom, and the tough wildflowers dotted through the grassy landscape of the windy Konza prairie during my college days.
During the pandemic I attended a virtual Visionary Activist workshop given by Sami Aaron as part of The Resilient Activist programming. It wasn’t surprising that those woodland and prairie communities were what kept coming to mind when journaling answers to the questions of “How do you want to help the world?” and “What do you enjoy doing?”
Of all the topics and skills I noted, my mind kept circling back to gardening for wildlife.
Photo: Bee on Echinacea pallida (Pale Purple Coneflower)
Those thoughts have been bubbling around in my head since then, and once I decided to stop working (I still trip over the words “I’m retired”), I went through the CSU Colorado Master Gardener program and then the Johnson County, KS Master Naturalist program.
As the world has started to recognize the importance of using plants that have evolved with the insects and animals of a region, Deep Roots has stepped up with its latest offering to assist landowners. Through their new “Nature Advisors” program, a team of two will help you evaluate your property by identifying invasive species, looking at rainwater management opportunities, and increasing options for wildlife habitat through plantings.
I joined the program this spring as a Nature Advisor and have completed three visits thus far. It’s so awesome to talk to landowners interested in improving habitat, attracting pollinators, and adding beauty to their land.
This program has proven popular, and there is a need for additional volunteer advisors. If you’re passionate about gardening for wildlife and have a willingness to share what you’re learning, consider applying! Each visit does take several hours to complete, including travel time, site visit and writing a report for the homeowner.
I continue to learn from every touchpoint with homeowners when I hear their thoughts, identify what is already on their property, and think about the most fitting plants to add to fulfill their goals. This role keeps my mind working and a smile on my face.
Gardening is a radical act. Here is a chance to do something positive by planting for wildlife: improve your soil, reduce run-off, create beauty, renew yourself, and be part of re-weaving a tapestry of pollinator pathways in our community.
Check out the new Deep Roots Nature Advisor Program.
The Nature Advisors Program offers advice in:
• Landscaping with environmentally healthy and sustainable native plant species
• The removal of invasive plant species such as bush honeysuckle
• Water conservation for urban landscapes, and
• Other stewardship practices that promote healthy habitat for birds, native wildlife and people.
For a small fee, trained nature advisors will visit your landscape for habitat consultation and prepare a written report with a menu of recommendations on how to improve the natural habitat value of your space.
• Less than 1/2 acre: $50
• 1/2 acre to 2 acres: $75
• Scholarship opportunities available
Deep roots is currently accepting applications from both homeowners and those who would like to be Nature Advisors.