In this issue:  Be inspired by the latest YardWorks community, take a sneak peek at the newest featured site, and learn how to complete your YardMap. 
YardMap header

The Dirt: News from YardMap
Joining together to break new ground for birds
Early Summer 2014

How to assemble pollinator friendly landscape
This board shows how to incorporate beautiful pollinator habitat throughout your property. Photo © YardWorks. 

Chautauqua Lake:
a YardWorks Community

YardWorks is an innovative collaboration from YardMap and Cornell University's Landscape Architecture Program that provides design strategies for creating wildlife habitat at the neighborhood level. Thus far, two New York State communities have gathered enough interested neighbors to qualify for YardWorks: Fall Creek and Chautauqua Lake. Student landscape architects worked with the Fall Creek community during fall semester, 2013, and Chautauqua Lake during spring semester, 2014. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County also partnered with YardWorks during the Chautauqua Lake phase of the initiative.

The final design boards for the Chautauqua Lake community are impressive and inspiring for all homeowners interested in creating wildlife habitat. We are especially fond of the beautiful pollinator habitat and avian planting designs. You can see the final design boards for each homeowner here.
 Visit YardWorks to find out more about its latest collaboration with the Chautauqua Lake community and download PDFs of each board. 
wildflowers at new featured site in YardMap
YardMap's newest featured site, Plant 4 Wildlife, is a hotspot for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Photo by Shane Marvelli. 

New Featured Site:
Plant 4 Wildlife

After purchasing their new 3-acre property, Shane and Lori began transforming their land into wildlife habitat. “Plant 4 Wildlife” is situated just west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is already hosting a variety of wildlife, no doubt due to the owners’ vast knowledge about and passion for creating habitat for wildlife.

In just a short while, these avid wildlife gardeners have accomplished a great deal, including the reduction of several nonnative invasive plant populations, beginning native prairie restoration, planting many beneficial native plants, and providing nest boxes for birds throughout the habitat. The result is an impressive landscape designed to provide critical habitat for wildlife. 

Click here to continue reading about Plant 4 Wildlife
How to smother lawn without using chemicals
Photo © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Lawn Reduction Tip

We're happy to report that more and more YardMappers are shrinking the size of their lawns and replacing some of it with valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife. (Read more about lawn alternatives for your property and how they can save you time and money). Turf grass can be tough to battle, so if you're considering eliminating some lawn you may want to try the smothering technique, as depicted in the infographic above. The best part? No herbicide is required. 

Vote for a New Icon
in YardMap 

New icons in YardMap
Clockwise from top left: apiary, flower box/planter/container, bat house, and bee nesting block.
 Photo © Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 
Voting is still open for a new object icon in YardMap. Potential new icons include an apiary, flower box/planter/container, bat house, or bee nesting block. We'll announce the winning icon in our next eNews edition. Vote here
Complete YardMap
Have you mapped all the habitats on your property? Photo © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Is Your YardMap Complete?

You've outlined a great shrubby area, placed all the big trees and flowers, but the habitat overview for your map is showing that quite a bit of your site is not yet mapped. Even though you may think you have mapped all the important habitat on your property, we'd like you to revisit your YardMap to see if you've left something out, such as your house, shed, driveway, lawn, vegetable garden, etc. Or, perhaps you need to update your map to account for a few changes to the landscape. A "complete" map is one that has 80 percent of the site outline filled with habitats or objects. 

As a citizen-science program, YardMap relies upon the data you provide about your property to better understand the many ways we may be impacting bird populations, including the habitat we provide as well as the actions we take, such as keeping cats indoors. If you have a few minutes, please take a look at your YardMap and see if it's complete. Thank you in advance! 


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The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at

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