Backyard Conservation is a nationally promoted program that helps homeowners decide what conservation practices are right for their own yards. It is a cooperative project of the National Association of Conservation Districts, The USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Wildlife Habitat Council, and the National Audubon Society.
For over 65 years the Cape Atlantic Conservation District has assisted farmers and landowners with conservation practices that help prevent soil erosion and offsite sedimentation, attract wildlife, improve water quality and conserve natural resources. The national Backyard Conservation program has taken the practices that have been used successfully on the farm and has adapted them for your home or school. Our District has embraced this nationwide conservation effort and promotes its benefits through many of our education programs. The 28 page color booklet created by this program is a great way to start to learn about backyard conservation. Click here to download a copy of the book.
The ten basic conservation practices included in the program are:
The use of native plant species at a school, in a park, or around your home can be beneficial in many ways. Wildlife use plants for food and shelter, while you benefit from the beauty these plants and wildlife add to the landscape. The native plants are readily accepted by wildlife but also are adapted to our environmental conditions. They are adapted to our soil conditions, resistant to pests and once established require less maintenance.
The Cape Atlantic Conservation District has created a guide "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat Improvement in New Jersey's Coastal Plain Region" that provides information about native plant species that are beneficial to wildlife of the Coastal Plain region of New Jersey. These plants can be used to help establish wildlife habitat areas on your property. The plants are listed in the categories of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. In addition, environmental parameters for the use of these plants are identified in terms of soil moisture conditions, light preference and plant characteristics. Most of the plants in this guide are readily available from the nurseries and garden centers in this region. Click Here to download a copy of this guide.
Using Native Plant Species for Wildlife Habitat Improvement
Adapted vegetation is an integral part of the overall dune system that is vital to the protection from coastal storms. Dune Vegetation not only aids sand deposition and accumulation, but also serves to retain the sand in the dune system. Accordingly, the selection of plants that will survive and flourish in the harsh environment of the dune system is critical. The dune system is a diverse ecosystem exposed to wind and salt spray. The dune soils are sandy; and as such are droughty. In recognition of these conditions, the following vegetation list has been divided into three main categories based upon exposure and soil moisture conditions: (A) Salt Spray Tolerant Vegetation, (B) Sheltered Upland Dune Vegetation and (C) Sheltered Wetland Dune Vegetation based on the species tolerance of conditions and location in the dune system.
Click here for list of dune vegetation.
Cape Atlantic Conservation District
The criteria for selection of plants for dune re-vegetation with native species include: (1) adaptation to survival in the dune environment; (2) resistance to disease and pests; (3) drought hardiness after they are established; (4) ability to be pruned to control shape and height, if trimming is begun early in the tree/shrub development, and (5) availability from nurseries.
6260 Old Harding Highway
Mays Landing, New Jersey 08330
Phone: (609) 625-3144
Fax: (609) 625-7360
Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:00am-3:30pm