Visit the Most Beautiful Nature Locales in the Country
by Amy Lignor
Wildlife habitat gardens are being created in a variety of locations, in a variety of sizes. There are even those that are funded by some large names and organizations, who are calling out to tourists across the globe to come visit and see what great things are being done to sustain and increase the wildlife community.
These are places that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has teamed up with in order to create locations that offer people the most stunning views and vibrant sights they could possibly see. The first is about as urban an area as you can get: the Oriole Garden at Camden Yards. Joining forces with Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority, the “Oriole Garden” was created. Featuring a variety of native plants that attract orioles, butterflies and other local birds, the Oriole Garden provides a critical wildlife habitat in a big city where the urban sprawl is not normally known for supporting nature. It also shows all residents how they can make their own backyards, schools or businesses beautiful by planting a wildlife habitat and giving their famous orioles (the ones without bats) a place to call home.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the perfect location for all of this, seeing as that Baltimore is actually known as “Birdland.” With that fact in mind, the Oriole Garden was designed to attract all species of birds. And, much like the beloved team, the Baltimore orioles fly off for the winter to warmer climates but return home every spring to this stunning garden. Making sure to think of everything the team chose the perfect location, seeing as that it coincides with the orioles’ migratory pattern; in other words, they are taking a direct “flight” home every spring. This huge undertaking truly shows a commitment to establishing a cleaner, greener Baltimore. And the team continues to educate and inspire their fans to improve their own backyards.
In the Mile High City of Denver, there is also a habitat milestone that’s been reached. At the Denver Zoo, just two months ago, a newly installed pollinator garden became the 200,000th Certified Wildlife Habitat® by the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office (and the Colorado Wildlife Federation.)
This beautiful locale that tourists are raving about is called “The Pollinator Pathway,” and is a 2,500 square foot garden located just outside the Bird World exhibit at the zoo. The goal of this location is to offer pollinators and other local wildlife a safe and healthy habitat. It was also built to inspire all locals and visitors to the zoo to use better conservation practices, encouraging them to grow their own wildlife-friendly garden that could lead to an award of certification by the NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program.
The Pollinator Pathway garden is an amazing habitat. When it comes to providing food, there are over 80 different species of trees, flowers and shrubs that offer nectar, pollen, berries, nuts and seeds for pollinators and other species of wildlife. There are ponds providing the wildlife with water for drinking and bathing, with a fountain/centerpiece being planned as we speak. The cover provided, to hide from predators as well as to stalk prey, ranges from maple trees to juniper. And the many trees and shrubs provide nesting places for birds.
When it comes to education, this garden is all about teaching sustainability. Using plantings from three different ecosystems, visitors can view a dry meadow, a moist woodland, and a moist meadow setting. They can also visit the Discovery Station that offers hands-on activities. With over two million people visiting the zoo annually, the Pollinator Pathway will play a pivotal role in bringing about more projects across the country.
It’s no surprise that the name “Disney” also appears in the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to wildlife habitats. At Disney’s Epcot Theme Park in Orlando, the Backyard Habitat is an amazing place to visit. And seeing as that the garden is updated each year by Disney’s Horticulture team (in conjunction with the NWF), there is always something new to see.
People who visit any of these sites are literally in love with what they see, which is (thankfully) increasing the number of wildlife habitats that are being grown in America’s own backyards.
Source: Baret News