Louisiana’s wild habitats, once vast and teeming with wildlife, are being lost to subsidence, erosion, and urban and industrial development.

Our remaining wild area are shrinking and becoming more divided and isolated. However, humans can have a positive impact on the environment as well. The plants we put in our cities and towns and the animals that are attracted to them make up habitats known as urban forests. These areas are vitally important because they reconnect the remaining patchwork of divided wild habitats. Regardless of your interest in plants or wildlife, your own backyard is part of the urban forest. By carefully considering what plants to use, you can greatly increase the wildlife habitat value there.

The American Beautyberry, also known as French Mulberry, is a wonderful ornamental plant that is attractive to birds and other wildlife as well as native to Louisiana. Photo by Jonathan Traviesa