Tick photo and tick bite prevention graphic

Summer is officially here, and it’s time to get out to your favorite walking or hiking spot! That may entail walking through tall grass and woodland brush, depending on where you go. Protect yourself from Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever by following tick prevention advice of forest enthusiasts and agricultural professionals.

Amorpha canescens - Lead Plant - Layne Knoche

Whether you have an area around your home that gets full sun or shade, is wet or dry, there is a native shrub option for you. Native shrubs are touted as easier to care for and provide ecosystem services like flowers for pollinators and berries for birds. When planting native shrubs, plant in groups and water during the establishment period.  

Full sun but need additional water during drought: 

tree cookies hanging from woody vine

Anyone can make their holiday season a little more earth friendly with a new family tradition: recycling the tree!

Erin Minuskin - https://unsplash.com/

Creating simple, homemade birdfeeders is a great way to support feathered friends during the cold winter months when food sources are scarce. It also allows us to be creative, resourceful, and engage with nature while stuck indoors. Make your backyard more wildlife-friendly by making a few of these natural, DIY birdfeeders.

fox squirrel in foreground of fall or winter tree limbs.

Proactive strategies can lessen the extent of wildlife damage to your gardens through fall and winter.

Once the ground is frozen, rabbits will have fewer places to take shelter or hide, and will forage for food a lot closer to the protection of their winter home. They will go for anything green but once that is gone, they will go for thin-skinned bark and small branches. Feeding damage can be prevented using chicken wire fencing, burying a few inches to thwart digging.

Hedge Apple Woods, Bloomington, by Rick Tindall

In this time of social distancing and limited activities, enjoying nature should be made a priority for all who need a bit of stress release. Have you bathed in the forest lately, hugged a tree or had a therapy session with an oak?