Domain: Gardening: Green, With Envy

Turn your yard into a natural nesting place

There’s something we love about the idea of making a yard into a “Recognized Audubon Bird Habitat.” It could be that Audubon himself, our country’s best-loved naturalist, was a local. Or it could be the handsome metal sign Audubon Pennsylvania sends once you attain recognition. But most likely, it’s the overall eco-coolness of the status itself, which means your very own great outdoors meets a handful of quite reasonable requirements. Your yard must not rely on toxic pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals. It must include 25 percent native trees and shrubs, a water source, nesting sites, and bird cover and food. It must be low-maintenance and kid- and pet-safe. Do that, then send a $25 donation to Audubon Pennsylvania—and you’re in like finch. The real reward, however, is what will happen in winter, when cardinals, jays and other holiday guests flock in. Apply online at pa.audubon.org.