Wildlife Projects: Gardening for Wildlife

Do you look through the window and see nothing but grass? Wouldn’t it be more exciting to see a landscape filled with birds, butterflies and other wildlife? You don’t need any prior knowledge of plants or gardening to create a landscape for wildlife that can also serve as a fascinating outdoor laboratory!  Known regionally as “Bayscaping”, gardening for wildlife also benefits people, the environment and the Chesapeake Bay. Planting site-appropriate native plants provides habitat for local and migratory animals, improves water quality, reduces the need for pesticides, herbicides, watering, mowing and fertilizing, and can even address specific problems like erosion and drainage. The resources below will provide everything you need to understand the basics, and create areas that are inviting to wildlife. Be sure to also visit our More Habitat Project How-To’s page featuring links to state-specific resources that offer wildlife garden templates, species-specific project instructions and more!

Tips Before you Start!

  1. Establish a Team: Work with administrators & facilities staff
  2. Assess Your Site: Identify your site conditions
  3. Create a Design: Project plan, choosing plants, planting map & more
  4. Online Project Design Tool: Alliance for the Bay: Includes plant lists and garden templates
  5. Designate the Area & Share the Project: Signs, borders and raised beds prevent mow-down
  6. Include Access for Humans: Add paths, seating & learning opportunities

Gardening for Wildlife: General How-To’s

Attracting Birds



More Tips on Attracting Specific Bird Species:

Attracting Butterflies (& Moths)

General: Tips & Plants for Butterfly & Moth Habitats

General:  Butterfly & Moth Gardening Resources


Attracting Bees & Other Pollinators

Plants & Habitats for Pollinators:

Other Pollinator Resources:

Pesticides & Pollinators