Habitat restoration - its human nature to help mother nature                                                  

RETURN WHAT WAS LOST HERE IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY HABITAT RESTORATION IS VERY IMPORTANT. JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IS NO LONGER ORIGINAL. HABITAT LOSS HERE HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR CENTURIES. HISTORY TELLS US THAT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN THE US STARTED HERE IN NORTHERN NJ. PATTERSON WAS THE FIRST PLANNED INDUSTRIAL CITY CENTERED AROUND THE GREAT FALLS OF THE PASSAIC RIVER. RIVERS WERE HARNESSED AND SOON POLLUTED. EVEN BEFORE THAT, GREAT SWATHS OF FOREST WERE CUT TO FEED THE FURNACES FOR IRON WORKS. ONCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION TOOK HOLD, THE FURNACES NEEDED A LOT OF FUEL. MOST OF TODAYS GREEN SPACE IN NORTHERN NJ IS NOT VERY OLD. SURE A FEW TREES THAT MAY BE 200 - 300 YEARS OLD EXIST., BUT LARGE TRACTS OF OLD FOREST ARE LONG GONE.

POOR FOREST MANAGEMENT OVER THE NEXT 100 YEARS PRODUCED GREEN SPACE WITH A LOW DIVERSITY OF FLORA. AS CITIES GREW AND SUBURBAN GROWTH REPLACED AGRICULTURE THE NATURAL FACE OF NORTHERN NJ CHANGED FOREVER. FARMLAND WAS REPLACED WITH SPRAWLING EXPENSIVE PLANNED COMMUNITIES. CITIES GREW DENSER. ROADS AND HIGHWAYS WERE REQUIRED TO CONNECT ALL OF THESE AND MOVE THE POPULATION FROM PLACE TO PLACE. GREEN SPACE WAS CREATED THROUGH PARK SYSTEMS BUT THE DAMAGE HAD BEEN DONE. NOW WE HAVE GREEN SPACE SURROUNDED BY HOUSING WHICH CREATES MORE ISSUES. SMALLER SPACES ARE EASILY TAKEN OVER BY INVASIVES. AND THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM. OUR GREEN SPACE IS GREEN BUT AN UNWANTED KIND OF GREEN. JAPANESE BARBERRY, GARLIC MUSTARD, JAPANESE STILTGRASS, MULTIFLORA ROSE, JAPANESE HONESUCKLE DOMINATE THE LANDSCAPE AND OFFER LITTLE TO NATIVE ANIMALS AND INSECTS. THEY FALL ACROSS OUR WOODLANDS LIKE A PLAGUE.

AND WHERE NATIVES ATTEMPT TO HANG ON, THEY HAVE A SECOND ENEMY. NORTHERN NJ HAS A HUGE DEER POPULATION. WITH VIRTUALLY NO PREDATORS TO CULL THEIR NUMBERS, THEY BREED IN LARGE ENOUGH NUMBERS TO EAT ALL NATIVE PLANTS AS IF THEY WERE THEIR OWN PERSONAL BUFFET. NOW WE ARE FACED WITH NO MORE OPEN SPACE. AND WHAT OPEN SPACE REMAINS IS IN DANGER OF BEING OVER RUN WITH INVASIVES AND EATEN TO THE GROUND BY DEER. I HAVE EVEN SEEN THE PARK SERVICE MOW DOWN MILKWEED AND OTHER NATIVE FLOWERS AND SHRUBS TO MAKE PATHS. JUST WALK ALONG THE PATHS AT RAMAPO RESERVE, A VERY POPULAR WEEKEND DESTINATION. AN AMAZING STREAM, RIVER, POND FILLED ENVIRONMENT. BUT LOOK CLOSELY, FIND A NATIVE PLANT? TRUST ME ITS A TOUGH TASK. OR TAKE THE PROUDLY POSTED BUTTERFLY MEADOW PROJECT AT RINGWOOD STATE PARK. ITS FIRST YEAR FULL OF MILKWEED AND OTHER MEADOW FLOWERS. TAKE A LOOK AT IT TODAY, ITS NO LONGER A FIELD, OVERGROWN WITH INVASIVES. NO SIGN OF WHAT IT WAS ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO. GOOD INTENTIONS, LOST IN TIME.

SOUNDS DEPRESSING DOESN'T IT. BUT CHANGE ALWAYS STARTS ON A SMALLER SCALE. EACH OF US CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, ALL OF US COMBINED CAN DO EVEN MORE. IF YOU OWN A SPECK OF THIS PLANET EARTH, CREATE A HABITAT THAT IS SHARED WITH THE WILD THINGS. IT WILL MAKE A HEALTHIER YOU AND A HEALTHIER WORLD AROUND YOU. JOIN US AND SO MANY OTHERS HERE IN NJ AND AROUND THE COUNTRY, PLANT NATIVES, PLANT WILDLIFE FRIENDLY, PLANT BEE FRIENDLY, RAISE BUTTERFLIES, CREATE A HABITAT FOR SONGBIRDS, WATCH TADPOLES TURN TO FROGS BY ADDING A WATER FEATURE AND ADMIRE HUNDREDS OF FIREFLIES ON A SUMMER EVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT USE INSECTICIDES. PLEASE JOIN US AND DO WHAT WE DO, AND  "SAVE A LITTLE OF OUR WILD SIDE"

LET US SHARE SOME OF OUR HABITAT RESTORATIONS  IN OUR OWN GARDENS                                                        

Woodland: Most of our yard can be considered Woodland. A sad fact that most of Northern NJ woodlands are in sad shape. Habitat restoration in these areass was an essential first step in our garden plan. Details...........

Pond: Our first addition to the yard was a pond in the backyard with a waterfall for additional noise. This addition had immediate effects on the creatures in the area. Attracting songbirds, even ducks and herons. Frogs, Dragonflies and more appeared within weeks of final installation. Details............

Bog: This is one of most recent additions. the addition of Bog plants in an area with poor soil attracted toads and other moisture loving creatures. Carnivorous plants and native orchids now thrive where nothing grew.Details........

Meadow: A lower part of our yard over the last few years had additional sunlight created from the natural felling of trees through storms. This area has now become an open area filled with rain garden, meadow wildflowers. It is a young garden, less than a year old but already having an impact on the yard overall. Details...........

Perennial Beds: These gardens are where most of the experimenting with deer resistance comes from as most of them are in the unfenced front yard. We removed large portions of the front lawn to add native and non native plants that attract pollinators. Including host plants for several butterfly species especially the Monarch as we have Common, Purple, Swamp and Butterflyweed in these gardens. Lawns are essential to a family unit if you have kids or dogs. But they do not have to be huge green lifeless spaces. Details................

WE ARE A CERTIFIED AUDUBON, NORTH AMERICAN BUTTERFLY ASSOCIATION GARDEN AND NATIONAL WILDLIFE HABITAT

GARDENING WITH DEER

                             FAVORITE HABITAT PROGRAMS

DEER, LOVE OR HATE THEM                                                 
FIRST OF ALL, DEER WERE HERE LONG BEFORE WE WERE. BUT BEFORE WE WERE HERE, THERE WAS A BALANCE IN THINGS. OBVIOUSLY, WE HAVE DISTURBED THAT BALANCE, DRASTICALLY.

SMALLER GREEN SPACE WITH UNCHECKED DEER HERDS CREATE AN ISSUE WITH NATIVE PLANTS, WILD OR IN THE HOME LANDSCAPE. MANY PEOPLE WILL NOT PLANT NATIVES OR FLOWERS DUE TO DEER. WHY SPEND THE MONEY WHEN THE NEXT DAY YOU HAVE STEMS WHERE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS OF FLOWERS ONCE WERE.

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GARDEN HERE IN NORTHERN NJ, YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH THE DEER HORDES. THERE ARE AN AMAZING AMOUNT OF DEER. THEY CONSUME EVERYTHING.

AFTER 25 YEARS AND LOTS OF PRACTICE AND A LOSS OF A WHOLE LOT OF PLANTS,WE HAVE MANAGED TO CREATE A LANDSCAPE THAT CONSISTS OF THOUSANDS OF PLANTS. OCCASIONALLY WE LOSE PLANTS, BUT WE NOW HAVE A THRIVING ECO SYSTEM IN A NEIGHBORHOOD DEVOID OF FLOWERS. NO FLOWERS DUE TO LACK OF TIME OR DUE TO THE RAVAGING DEER.

OUR SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THREE THINGS:

  1. DEER FENCING
  2. DEER SPRAY
  3. DEER RESISTANT PLANTS

LEARN MORE .................................. (COMING SOON)


we get a lot of questions on what the plants are in our main header. the secrets have been released!

ALSO INCLUDES SWAMP MILKWEED, SEDUM, RUDBECKIAS, BUTTERFLY BUSH, BLUEBERRY, PURPLE CONEFLOWER, PHLOMIS, SALVIA, ALSTROEMERIA, VIOLETS