Maine’s forests were severed in the first wave of colonialism as European settlers reaped the rich resources of this land. Felled trees were first used to build ships, then were carried off to construct plantations through the Caribbean, laying in place colonial structures of systematized racism that persist today. Indigenous practices in both geographies are helping to heal the land, recognizing that non-human species are essential members of our communities.
Haitian-centered organizations effectively support re-wilding & Eco-cultural restoration:
The Lambi Fund of Haiti: www.lambifund.org
Sadhana Forest: www.sadhanaforest.org/haiti/
Northeastern native flowers loved by hummingbirds include bee balm, blue lobelia, butterfly weed, cardinal flower, columbine, foxgloves, jewelweed, New Jersey tea, shadbush, Soloman’s seal and virgin’s bower. They have a tubular shape and generally grow upright. Plant these as large clumps and as a succession of blooms to welcome hummingbirds to your garden through the season.
Creating vertical structure in a garden will produce an inviting habitat. Shrubs, small trees and canopy trees planted together with flower gardens and a water source will provide for their needs.
Avoid Pesticides and keep cats away!
MOWING for Wildlife
Mowing in summer is severely disruptive
MOW in NOVEMBER or APRIL
Pollinators need flowers!!
Mowing in summer causes pollen and nectar to disappear – reducing the number of insects. The easiest way to install a Pollinator Pathway is to STOP mowing from May through October!
Farmers who harvest hay may consider leaving strips to grow out along field edges, or around the periphery of their farms.
Birds need insects & SEEDS!
Some birds eat insects…if flowers are cut & insect populations decline, birds loose this food source.
Grassland nesting birds are some of the most endangered. Mowing their nesting grounds before their young fledge drains the population.
Many birds eat seedheads. When flowers are cut mid summer, they do not have time to seed out to feed migrating birds as they return south. It takes away an important winter food source for resident birds.
Allowing seedheads to fully ripen regenerates the population of flowering plants that feed wildlife.
TIPS for maintaining an open meadows
While it is important to mow to maintain open meadows, we only need to mow every other year. Leaving un-mown areas over the winter increases habitat for mammals and birds who overwinter here.
SPOT mowing targets aggressive foreign grasses to suppress them and revive flora populations.
Human pathways may be mown through the meadows to increase ease of access for walking and observing the life that will burst forth when open meadow ecology is restored.
Mown path borders along bushes will keep them at bay.