On the drive to work on Tuesday (which admittedly is so short I’m surprised I was able to hear this story at all!) I was listening to my local public radio affiliate. Of course they were in the middle of the quarterly fund raising drive so that means I was even more blessed to hear this story!
Here in Connecticut we have a Native Plant nursery. I’ve known about it for some time. What I didn’t know was the story behind it. It was founded, apparently, when the owners were working on a wetlands restoration project and had to drive some 9 hours round-trip to get some plants native to Connecticut (they are lucky they only had to go to the New Jersey Pine Barrens–another ecologically threatened region–more about that on Monday!)
The story I heard (the link to the story, which you can read about here and even listen to) was made even more amazing because the couple, Kyle and Lisa Turoczi, uses natives not only to garden for and with traditional wildlife, but to develop something called a “rabbitat.”
Here in New England, our native rabbit, the New England cottontail, is disappearing, being displaced by a similar but non-native rabbit called the Eastern cottontail. It’s a wildlife story that is happening all over and across all habitats–I read just yesterday about a disagreement among anglers about stocking rivers with trout and whether that is displacing our native trout.
(Should you care to learn more about the native New England cottontail, it has its own web site, of course, which can be found here).
I garden for a lot of wildlife, but the idea of gardening for a native rabbit has never occurred to me.
For those nearby who would like to learn more about the Turoczi’s nursery, it is called Earth Tones LLC and it is in Woodbury, Connecticut. I confess I have never been–yet.