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Homeowner Resources - Introduction

Garden Invaders Video Series

In the hustle and bustle of life, it is often easy to forget that we are all surrounded by nature and that we all have a responsibility to protect it. Whether it is a creek and its associated valley near your home, a treed area around the block, or a large wetland several streets over, these areas are all part of a large natural system that helps keep our air and water clean, and provides a home for wildlife. As a homeowner, there are many little things that you can do within your home and around your yard that will help to ensure that the natural heritage values of the local watersheds and forested areas are maintained and protected.

Homeowner Resources
Pumphouse Marsh Photo: Canadian Wildlife Service

 

In addition to the resources found on the side bar, the following are some simple stewardship principles1 that you can easily build into your daily life. Feel free to educate and encourage your neighbours throughout the community to do the same.

  • Appreciate responsibly ?Enjoy the recreational opportunities in your community responsibly. Stay on recreational trails and enter natural areas at designated entrances only.
  • Keep litter in its place ?Recycle your refuse at home.
  • Leave wild plants ?Other people want to enjoy the flowers too, not to mention the animals that rely on them.
  • Keep invasive species in their place ?do not introduce invasive plant or animal species into natural areas. Do not release unwanted pets and do not plant anything in natural areas unless participating in an event organized by your town or the Conservation Authority.
  • Compost in your own backyard ?Do not do any composting outside your own yard. Composting is a beneficial process in your backyard, but it can introduce unwanted seeds and smother native vegetation if done in natural areas.
  • Let them stay wild ?Allow wild animals to remain wild. Do not feed, attract, handle or entice wild creatures (e.g. raccoons and skunks).
  • Contain your pets ?Exercise responsible pet ownership and keep your pet under control at all times.
  • Keep storm sewers clean ?Never dump wastewater, chemicals or oil on the ground or down storm drains. Remember, most storm drains eventually flow directly into the creeks and ultimately Lake Ontario, the source of many peopleís drinking water.
  • Conserve water ?Install a screened rain barrel in your yard. Wash cars and outdoor equipment on grassed areas.
  • Maintain your vehicles ?Proper maintenance will help to reduce leaks and drips. Clean up any accidental spills.
  • Reduce fertilizer and pesticide use ?If you must use fertilizers and pesticides, follow label directions and use the minimum amounts needed to do the job. More is not better.
  • Use native plantings ?Low maintenance native plant landscaping, mulching mowers and recycling compost in your garden can reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Naturalization ?Consider naturalizing portions of your yard to selectively encourage appropriate wildlife to share your outdoor living areas. Birds and bats are two groups that can be safely encouraged to share your yard.
  • Reduce harmful emissions ?Consider push mowers and rakes instead of gas mowers and leaf blowers. Donít forget the added benefit of peaceful exercise and fresh air.

1These stewardship principles have been taken from the following source: The Corporation of the Town of Whitby Planning Department and ESG International Inc. 2003. ďTaunton North Community Homeowners Environmental Guide? Town of Whitby, Whitby, Ontario.

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OIPC's Garden Invaders Video Series

Donít know what to plant in your garden this spring? Join OIPC ecologists Colleen and Gavin as they take you on a walk through local gardens and highlight invasive plants and suitable alternatives.

Just in time for the gardening season, the Horticultural Outreach Collaborative, a committee of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, has launched their new Garden Invaders videos. 

Click here to visit OIPC's Youtube channel.  

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