Planting native plants helps wildlife

By Glen Anderson
Prairie Hyacinth, a native Illinois plant

In a recent issue you had a couple articles about gardening. I am writing to encourage gardeners to add a few native plants.

Native plants can help provide food and shelter for pollinators, birds and other wildlife and increase your chance of watching wildlife.

Native plants that have evolved in Illinois have a far greater ability to fuel life up the food chain. That’s because native plants have evolved along with the insects that eat them, and the insects are better able to digest the native plants.

Loss of habitat is the major reason for the reduction of wildlife. Cornell Lab has confirmed we have lost 30% of the number of breeding birds in North America since 1970. One research study showed suburban neighborhoods have less than 70% of the original native vegetation which results in wildlife not having the insects and seeds needed to eat and reproduce.

Look on your phone or computer for “Native Plants” for the why, what, where and when for native plants. Plants can be ordered online at prairiemoon.com in Minnesota or locally at Plants For Pollinators, Taylor Ridge Illinois 309-738-1087 and Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation District 309-764-1486 ex 3 and Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District 309-286-2261 ex. 3.

Glen Anderson

Bird-Nut of Henry County