Gardening a Great Way to Help Cope With Social Distancing and Wildlife

Untitled design 4 As stress and anxiety have overwhelmed the news and media with needed updates and concerns about Covid-19 we hope you can find some solace in your social distancing through gardening.

The Montana Wildlife Federation in Billings has partnered with the National Wildlife Federation in a project called Gardening for Wildlife. Gardening has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and we can give you tips on how you can garden to also help wildlife. Gardening for Wildlife has a goal of creating wildlife-friendly gardens throughout the city of Billings in order to combat quickly deteriorating habitat worldwide.

Here are some examples of what you can do in your own yard and home:

  • Start planning your garden and take the first steps!
    • Start the process to remove your lawn to decrease your water use
    • Build raised beds for edible gardens
    • Too cold to start gardening outside? Start planting seeds for your summer garden indoors!
      • To fair the cooler weather some seeds such as lettuce, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, winter squash, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, and many others should be planted inside before they are transferred to your home garden
        • When you buy seed packets, check the back and it should let you know exactly how long each plant needs to be inside
      • Use small containers such as egg cartons to start seeds for a few weeks or months before you transfer them outside
        • If the seedlings grow too large for the egg cartons start moving them to larger pots. Last year’s pots you saved from the nursery or even coffee cans will work.
    • Make a butterfly sanctuary
      • Start out by planting native plants, especially milkweed, and by making a puddling area with water sand and mud 
    • Start transitioning your yard to have more native plants
    • Check if your garden meets the criteria to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat 
      • Food
      • Water
      • Cover
      • Places to Raise Young
      • Sustainable Practices
    • Certify your garden! 

Have kids at home and are looking for ways to entertain and teach them? Take a look at the National Wildlife Federation’s free education tools!


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Alec Underwood

Senior Policy & evelopment Director

Alec is responsible for developing and implementing MWF’s federal conservation advocacy and policy campaigns to protect Montana’s fish and wildlife. He spends most of his free time hunting big game and fly fishing Montana’s cherished trout rivers. He also enjoys backpacking, skiing, photography, and woodworking.