Transforming a Neighborhood
Pine Brook Neighborhood is a shining example of what one person can do to make an entire neighborhood more beautiful, healthy, and supportive of wildlife. When a prairie pothole was about to be destroyed by neighborhood development, a concerned citizen contacted Houston Audubon to help. What she and her husband managed to save is astounding: a very special wetland area that provides essential habitat for birds and other wildlife. She led volunteer crews to remove invasive species, build trails for the public, and add signs to educate visitors.
After this significant conservation effort, the same citizen began to notice ways that her neighborhood could use traditional planting areas in more diverse ways to support wildlife. She worked with her neighborhood association and created and implemented a plan that has truly transformed Pine Brook. Here is some advice. This advice will give you a feel for how you might consider approaching a neighborhood of your own:
Everyone asks “What trees to order.” My answer is as many DIFFERENT species of trees as possible! The more biodiversity you can create, the more variety of birds and butterflies you will have. Also your ecosystems will be healthier if good diversity of trees and plants. I suggest 15 gallon trees if have irrigation system. Trees need sunlight and don’t do well in deep shade. Some shrubs (e.g. beautyberry can handle some light shade).
Fall is peak time and trees and shrubs can sell fast - so try to be first before everything is sold out! Best time to plant is fall. You do need volunteers to water plants and trees daily in the “nursery”.