BACKYARD HABITAT CLASSES
Backyard Habitat Classes On Hold
Our apologies, but we are not offering Backyard Habitat Classes at this time. Due to diminishing participation and staff capacity, we have decided to forgo these classes for 2015. Since Woodland Park Zoo and our community partners started offering these opportunities in 2005, over 800 people have deepened their connection to the wildlife in their local communities through participation in Woodland Park Zoo’s Backyard Habitat classes and workshops!
Impact of Past Backyard Habitat Workshops and Classes
Over the years, we’ve conducted extensive evaluation of the impact these programs have had on their participants, including their knowledge and understanding of their local ecosystem as well as which conservation actions they’ve undertaken since participating in the Backyard Habitat classes. In 2012, we surveyed all participants of past multi-day workshops or class series, the results of which indicated an extensive increase in knowledge and wildlife-friendly behaviors. For example, after attending the Backyard Classes:
- 77% of participants planted non-invasive, native plants
- 34% installed a water feature
- 61% removed or controlled invasive plants
- 69% provided new places for wildlife to find cover (e.g. log pile, dense shrubs)
- 60% provided new places for wildlife to raise their young (e.g. dead trees, nest box)
- 77% provided new food sources for wildlife (e.g. plants with seeds or berries, bird feeders)
- 35% certified their yard or garden as certified habitat for wildlife
In their comments, participants also indicated their satisfaction with the amount of diversity now found in their backyard habitats, as well as how the classes provided much-needed content and inspiration. In response to the question about what they’re most proud of when it comes to creating their backyard habitat:
- “Native shade garden and vegetable garden that coexist to create food for my family and native insects/ wildlife.”
- “The number of different animals and beneficial insects that come visit.”
- “Seeing the variety of wildlife—Pacific Tree Frogs and so many different kinds of birds, even larger mammals crossing through. And not using pesticides!
And in response to the question about what was the most helpful from their participation in the Backyard Habitat classes:
- “I really thought all the experts were fantastic. From giving info on garden sight line, i.e. looking out your window on to the garden, to describing types of soil, it was all so informative.”
- “Awareness of how the choices I make affect wildlife, from which plant to purchase to really thinking about whether to use weed killer.”
- “Made me rethink my impact and how I can help in a small but effective way.”
Want to be notified if Backyard Habitat classes are offered again? Please sign up here to be placed on an interest list for future classes and workshops.
Want more information about creating habitat in your backyard, schoolyard or community garden? Check out the Northwest Zoo & Aquarium Alliance website!
If you cannot find the answers to your questions or need additional help please call 206.548.2424 x4 or e-mail.