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    Saint Croix

    National Scenic Riverway WI,MN

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Landscaping For Wildlife

February 16, 2012 Posted by: Ranger Dale Cox

In the summer, an artisit paints the native plant landscape outside and adjacent to the St. Croix River Visitor Center. NPS Photo "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." -Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Understanding the delicate balance of nature is as easy as taking a walk along the riverbank of the St. Croix. The Riverway protects a thin ribbon of land and water 230 miles in length, or more than 460 miles of shoreline. It serves not only to provide recreation for current and future generations, but also as a corridor for wildlife to live and migrate through.

Several years ago when a new building was planned for the Riverway's headquarters and visitor center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, it was decided to landscape the surrounding area with native plants. Although the area is small in size, choosing deep rooted native plants reduces run-off from rainfall, adds colorful wildflowers to attract native insects and birds, and minimizes costs for mowing and watering.

Similar simple landscaping techniques can be accomplished to make your own property more bird and butterfly friendly, reduce harm to the environment, and save you time and money with lower maintenance. On Saturday, February 18, Mike Zeckmeister, regional wildlife biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Northern Region, will provide information on how to create naturally beautiful settings that enhance wildlife habitat, whether you live in town or in the country.

"Landscaping for Wildlife" will be presented at 10:00 a.m. and then repeated at 1:00 p.m.Presentations are free and open to the public and take place at the St. Croix River Visitor Center, 401 North Hamilton Street, in St. Croix Falls.

In July, a camoflaged Ambush Bug lies in wait for other insects on a flowering pinkish purple Wild Bergamot. NPS Photo

wildflower, insect, native plant




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Did You Know?

Three waterboatmens on a rock, they are dark brown and the leags are visible

Water boatmen have no gills but rather trap air with the hairs on their legs and the air bubble encircles their bodies, making them appear shiny. Their front legs are short, their middle legs are long and slender and their back legs are shaped like paddles fringed with hair.