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Backyard Conservation

Build a Bat House

Bats eat mosquitoes and other insects. One bat can eat up to 1,000 insects a night. Bats are also beneficial for pollination and seed dispersion. Bat houses help bats find safe homes.

Learn how to build a bat house from the National Wildlife Federation.

Remove Invasive Plant Species

Introduced invasive species often crowd out preferred native plant species. This reduces habitat and food supply for wildlife, which reduces biodiversity.


Removing common invasive species like garlic mustard and honeysuckle is important for taking care of your land and allowing native plants to flourish. Learn more about invasive species from the Department of Natural Resources.

Responsible Chemical Use

Be mindful of proper chemical use and disposal. Utilize community hazardous waste disposal days for cost-effective and responsible disposal of unneeded paints, electronics and chemicals. Minimize or eliminate the use of pesticides around your home, especially near natural areas. Pesticides such as insecticides often negatively impact more than the target pest, including our imperiled and important pollinator species. If they must be used, always strictly follow product labels to minimize risk to fish and wildlife. Opt for natural pest deterrents whenever possible!

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Plant Native for Pollinators

Native plants are the primary food source for most pollinators. They feed on the nectar, pollen, and leaves. To provide nectar and pollen, you need to provide flowers. While some ornamental flowers provide beneficial nectar and pollen, native plants are preferable due to their close partnerships w/native pollinators and wildlife. 


Consider creating pollinator habitat on your property. Whether a backyard pollinator garden or a large-scale prairie restoration, new habitat plays an important role in the recovery of pollinator and wildlife species. Habitat should meet a pollinator’s primary needs of food, habitat for shelter and nesting, and water. 

Want to learn how you can help pollinators and provide critical habitat on your property? Check out this helpful guide “Best Management Practices for Indiana Pollinator Habitat.”

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Control Erosion & Runoff

Do you have an eroding creek bank? Erosion can negatively impact not only your property but water quality as well. One natural, cost-effective solution is to establish woody vegetation by planting live stakes. Root development will bind the soil and eventually vegetative growth will help deflect water flow and provide fish and wildlife habitat. (Pictured left to right: Buttonbush, Red Osier Dogwood, and Sand Willow.)

Other simple and cost-effective ways to prevent runoff and erosion is to create a natural buffer around creek and pond banks by planting native grasses and wildflowers. At a minimum, simply not mowing up to the waters edge, leaving a natural "filter strip", will provide water quality benefits.

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Implement a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels help conserve water and reduce runoff and erosion. Water collected in rain barrels can be used for landscaping and gardening.

A number of vendors sell rain barrels. Check out:

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