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FSSR Newsletter - January 2008

CREATE YOUR OWN BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITAT!

    Why not create a "Wildlife Habitat" in your own backyard!  Nancy and Frank Harris did and they will be joining us at our program this month to show us how they did it.  Nancy and Frank live in the Grant area and wanted to improve their yard with only native plants and trees.  They learned what needed to be done with the help of the local County Extension Service and the information provided by the NWF's Wildlife Habitat program.
    The Harris's yard includes a large fish pond and Nancy says: "the yard actually takes care of itself…."
    "Wildlife Habitat" is a certification program designed by the NWF to encourage property owners and communities to improve and enjoy their neighborhoods and outdoor habitat.  The program provides all the information you need to bring more wildlife into your backyard, increase the curb appeal of your home, restore the natural ecosystem and make a more eco-friendly yard and neighborhood.
    The National Wildlife Foundation website at www.nwf.org has all the resources available to participate in the Wildlife Habitat certification program, including application, tip sheets and gardener's guide.
    The NWF has also partnered with the "Animal Planet" television channel to create a companion TV show called "Backyard Habitat" and website.  For more information on the show, please visit their website at: http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/backyard/backyard.html.
    In addition to the NWF Wildlife Habitat program, here in Florida we also have the "Florida Yards & Neighborhood" program, which is similar to the NWF program and operates through the University of Florida Extension Service.  It also provides lots of information and resources on how to create an environmental, Florida-friendly, low maintenance yard.  For more information in the FYN program, please visit your local County Extension Service office, or visit their website at: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu and their companion website www.floridayards.org.
    The St. Johns River Water Management District also has an excellent publication on the proper plants to include in a water-conserving landscape.  The publication can be viewed and ordered from their website.  For more information, please visit http://sjr.state.fl.us/waterwiselandscapes/introduction.html.
    Our meeting this month is also out Annual Meeting and current members will be voting on this year's nominees for our Board of Directors.  The slate is as follows - incumbents: Paul Barker, Tom Bauer, George Koraly, Anne Putman, Lynn Stieglitz and Frank Wegel; new: Mike Beck (of Kayak's etc.).
    The meeting will be Tuesday, January 22, 7:30 PM at the North Indian River County Library in Sebastian and all are welcome to attend.