Bring Conservation Home
An Urban Habitat Restoration Program of the St. Louis Audubon Society
The St. Louis Audubon Society envisions an ever-growing mosaic of native plant and animal landscapes across the St. Louis region, including even the smallest urban yard.
Our Bring Conservation Home Program provides on-site assistance to small, private landowners* in the greater St. Louis area for the restoration of native plant and animal habitat on their grounds. The Bring Conservation Home Program will offer advice in landscaping with environmentally healthy and sustainable native plant species, the removal of invasive plant species such as bush honeysuckle, water conservation on the urban landscape, and other stewardship practices that promote healthy habitat for birds, native wildlife and people.
After receipt of your application, we will contact you to schedule a visit by our trained habitat technicians. They will perform a landscape assessment using the program criteria and provide you a written report with simple steps to improve its habitat value. A follow-up visit will be performed upon request, and with compliance to the initial recommendations, you will be awarded one of three different levels of achievement (silver, gold or platinum). Once certified, you will have the option to acquire a yard sign that will highlight your accomplishment to your friends and neighbors.
A modest program fee of $25 (for Audubon members) will be payable in advance of the initial site visit. If you are not an Audubon member, a $50 fee will cover your participation in Bring Conservation Home and one year of support to the St. Louis Audubon Society. The fee includes one initial site assessment and consultation visit plus one follow-up certification visit.
If you are interested in volunteering as a Habitat Advisor, please contact the Program Coordinator at 314-599-7390 or via email.
Why Backyard Conservation is Important
Habitat loss is the number one cause for the population decline of native birds and other wildlife. In the St. Louis Region, urban sprawl is the greatest contributor to this habitat loss. In cooperation with other regional organizations and agencies, the St. Louis Audubon Society (SLAS) has been actively engaged in the preservation of existing natural habitats by helping to identify, establish, and manage critical habitats for native populations of birds through a program called Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Key IBA efforts in the St. Louis region have included the Great Rivers Confluence, Cuivre River State Park, the Urban Oases of Forest Park and Tower Grove Park, and the Lower Meramec. Partners in these projects have been diverse and ranged from the US Army Corps of Engineers to the City of St. Louis and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
In recent years, St. Louis Audubon has become more involved with the active restoration of habitats at selected IBAs within the metropolitan area through volunteer projects like native tree planting and honeysuckle removal at Forest Park and Creve Coeur Park. Such efforts on public lands are important, but are not sufficient to stem the decline of native plants and animals in our communities. The greatest potential for habitat restoration in our cities and suburbs is on private lands—individual homeowners and businesses in the St. Louis Region. However, these spaces are often ignored and assumed to have little or no value as bird and wildlife habitat. Yet, if managed prudently, private lands collectively offer tremendous potential for urban wildlife habitat. The St. Louis Audubon Bring Conservation Home Program has been created to address this opportunity.
Additional information can be found at the links below:
- American Bird Conservancy’s report on the Most Threatened Bird Habitats
- 2009 State of the Birds Key Findings
- Sierra Club’s Urban Sprawl Website
Bring Conservation Home is envisioned as a broad community partnership, led by the St. Louis Audubon Society. Partners and supporters for the kickoff year include the following.