In 1989, the Seattle University grounds were designated a Wildlife Sanctuary by the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Dept. This was the first designation for an institution in the State of Washington. Since then, the Grounds Dept. has been committed to providing habitat and encouraging biodiversity throughout the gardens, and in habitat-designed gardens in particular.
Building a habitat garden involves finding ways to provide habitat for birds, beneficial insects and soil organisms to complete their life cycles. Our efforts in the Grounds Dept. include choosing plants that provide nectar and pollen sources for adults throughout the year, plants for larval food, “banker plants” that attract insect pests, and using native plants to which native beneficals are adapted. Equally as important is providing a water source. Shelter through layered vegetation and undisturbed soils is a priority in designated areas.
There are so many resources available to help you plan your habitat garden. Here are a few to get you started.