Gardening for Wildlife Month – May 2022

Gardening for Wildlife Month, held in May each year, aims to get more people to celebrate and honor local flora and fauna. Celebrations in this month center around building more wildlife-friendly gardens, tips on how to do so, and inspiring stories from people who’ve successfully created such green spaces. Gardening for Wildlife has attracted attention from various people and groups, including many celebrities, who believe this to be a creative way to delicately balance our ecosystem and the environment.

History of Gardening for Wildlife Month

A devastating byproduct of human growth has been the loss of natural habitats everywhere around the world. Wild animals and plants can no longer rely on woodlands, marshes, and ponds — these places have been slowly disappearing to make way for roads, homes, factories, etc. As a result, wildlife that was once thriving is now facing multiple threats, and their populations are dwindling.

That’s when, over time, studies began to be conducted to find a solution to this concerning issue. Since private residential property took almost one-third of the urban landscape in many developed nations, one way to revive the wildlife was to plan urban gardens that would be completely wildlife-friendly.

A key organization leading the development of these ‘wildlife gardens’ was the National Wildlife Federation, which began operations in 1973 and has been pushing for a wildlife-supportive gardening method ever since. They’d even conducted 24 studies on the impact of wildlife gardening, all of which clearly showed that such places do indeed boost biodiversity, help wildlife ecosystems thrive, and supplement natural resources when local plants and trees are planted. These places are also almost always home to twice as many species of birds as areas without such gardens.

People who’ve had their homes and backyards turned into wildlife gardens witness this phenomenon first-hand. They’ve recounted tales of seeing local species of animals along with many migratory birds and butterflies, many of whom return to this safe haven year after year.

For now, wildlife gardens are seldom-seen backyard designs for many homes across the U.S. This month is aimed at getting people to realize that any garden can be transformed into a wildlife-friendly place. While endangered animals — think otters and ospreys — might not find a home in your garden, you can be directly responsible for helping swallows, butterflies, frogs, and even local plants thrive in a world where they don’t find many suitable places to live.

Gardening for Wildlife Month timeline

1973
The Endangered Species Act

President Nixon signs a landmark wildlife conservation law that protects a comprehensive list of wildlife, becoming one of the United States’ most powerful environmental laws ever created.

1973
Garden for Wildlife

The Nonprofit National Wildlife Federation launches a special program — Garden for Wildlife — to encourage more wildlife conservation in backyards and people's immediate surroundings.

2005
Wildlife Gardens are on T.V.

“Backyard Habitat” on Animal Planet teaches viewers how to attract and conserve wildlife in their backyards in a D.I.Y.-style format.

2018
A Legacy-Making Movement

National Wildlife Federation’s 'Garden for Wildlife celebrates 45 years of helping people conserve wildlife locally.

Gardening for Wildlife Month FAQs

What habitat is a garden?

A garden is a somewhat controlled area that provides a place for various plants and animals to live. Those attached to homes are usually thought of as ‘backyards’ or ‘front yards.’

How do you make a wild garden?

Gardening for wildlife includes choosing plants and trees that attract local wildlife, planting flowers, growing climbers, and maybe even placing a bird box or bird-feeding area. You can even let some shrubs and grass grow a little unwieldy to create nesting areas for smaller animals like hedgehogs, frogs, and even some birds.

How do you make a small garden wildlife-friendly?

Turning your garden into a wildlife-friendly space can be as simple as keeping bowls of water for the wildlife or as complex as building a compost solution for healthy plant growth.

Gardening for Wildlife Month Activities

  1. Turn your garden into a wildlife haven

    Build a space where animals, birds, and other creatures feel at home. Plant a variety of flowering shrubs, grow a tree, and maybe even put it in a little pond. Take help from various online sources to help you plan the best green space for your backyard.

  2. Go loco for local

    Much of wildlife gardening revolves around protecting local wildlife. Planting native plants and trees to attract local wildlife is a great way to create local ecosystems without harming the biodiversity of your region. Local gardeners, online sources, and a bit of research will help you here too.

  3. Get involved with external wildlife gardens

    Know of any wildlife gardens near you? Why not check it out, then check to see if they need volunteers for any tasks? You can also pitch to have these gardens created at local spaces like the park, the school backyard, or even a local community center. It can be as easy as planting more native plants or as challenging as trying to create little ecosystems for various animal and bird species.

5 Interesting Facts About Gardens And Wildlife

  1. An insect haven

    More than 8,000 different insects are likely to call your garden home — and most of these are utterly harmless and can actually be helpful to you and your plants.

  2. Flower power

    One way to create a butterfly habitat is to plant myriad flowering plants, as they winged wonders — and moths — feast on almost any flower's nectar.

  3. Love the frogs

    Don't get rid of frogs or toads, as they are nature's pest control — they munch on different worms and other mini-insects, keeping that population in check.

  4. No need to go wild

    Wildlife-friendly gardens don't need to look wild; an ordered green space that has a healthy and balanced bunch of flora is enough to attract wildlife.

  5. One space, many ecosystems

    One garden can hold thousands of ecosystems — there can be a special space for birds, one for insects, another for critters, and of course, multiple spaces for invertebrates.

Why We Love Gardening for Wildlife Month

  1. You're helping out the environment

    Planting — with a purpose — is greatly helping the local wildlife survive and thrive in a safe space. Plus, research also shows these little spaces make a necessary 'corridor' between larger protected areas for all migratory species like eagles, tree sparrows, etc.

  2. We've got our own green space

    It's a tiny green lung in the middle of all the concrete and pollution. Even the smallest of these wildlife gardens contribute towards making your homes and immediate surroundings more green, which is never a bad thing.

  3. Gardening for wildlife helps humans too

    No one can deny spending this much more time in nature — the gardens will need your love, care, and attention — is very rewarding for owners too. They're benefitting from better oxygen levels in their immediate surroundings, they see bright colors every day, and they’re calmer and less stressed due to the presence of the wildlife.

Gardening for Wildlife Month dates

YearDateDay
2022May 1Sunday
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
Be Kind To Animals Week
Drinking Water Week
Hurricane Preparedness Week
National Correctional Officer's Week
National Pet Week
National Physical Education and Sport Week
National Small Business Week
National Tourism Week
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week
Public Service Recognition Week
Teacher Appreciation Week
Beltane
Couple Appreciation Day
Executive Coaching Day
Frequent Flyer Day
Global Love Day
International Dawn Chorus Day
International Doodle Dog Day
Marshall Islands Constitution Day
May Day
Mayday for Mutts
National Chocolate Parfait Day
National Infertility Survival Day
National Lemonade Day
National Loyalty Day
National Mother Goose Day
National Purebred Dog Day
New Home Owners Day
Puppy Mill Action Week
Save The Rhino Day
School Principals' Day
Silver Star Service Banner Day
World Laughter Day
Worthy Wage Day
ALS Awareness Month
American Wetlands Month
Arthritis Awareness Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Better Speech and Hearing Month
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month
Brain Cancer Awareness Month
Building Safety Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Correct Posture Month
Creative Beginnings Month
Date Your Mate Month
EDS Awareness Month
Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month
Food Allergy Action Month
Fungal Infection Awareness Month
Gardening for Wildlife Month
Get Caught Reading Month
Gifts From The Garden Month
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
Haitian Heritage Month
Healthy Vision Month
Hepatitis Awareness Month
Homeschool Awareness Month
Huntington's Disease Awareness Month
Indian Heritage Month
International Business Image Improvement Month
International Civility Awareness Month
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International Victorious Woman Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
Labor History Month
Latino Books Month
Local and Community History Month
Lupus Awareness Month
Maternal Mental Health Month
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Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month
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Military Appreciation Month
National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month
National Asparagus Month
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
National Barbecue Month
National Bicycle Safety Month
National Blood Pressure Month
National Egg Month
National Foster Care Month
National Hamburger Month
National Heritage Month
National Inventors Month
National Lyme Disease Awareness Month
National Meditation Month
National Mediterranean Diet Month
National Moving Month
National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
National Pet Month
National Physiotherapy Month
National Recommitment Month
National Salad Month
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National Strawberry Month
National Stroke Awareness Month
National Teen Self-Esteem Month
National Vinegar Month
National Walking Month
National Youth Traffic Safety Month
Neurofibromatosis Month
Responsible Animal Guardian Month
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
South Asian Heritage Month
Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
Syringomyelia Awareness Month
Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month
Women's Health Care Month
Charli D'Amelio’s birthday
Gianna Bryant’s birthday

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