xGet the right seeds and plants for your rural property.
Creating your own wildlife sanctuary.

In your heart you have always desired to be a steward of the land - you envision creating a harmonious sanctuary to protect the spirit and character of your natural surroundings.

You nurture a deep and abiding respect for the land and imagine wonderful days with grand kids exploring and learning about the wildlife living on your land.

Additionally, as the owner of the country estate or rural property you know that you have an obligation to provide good quality habitat and healthy living conditions for wildlife on your land. Under your thoughtful care the food and shelter needs of native wildlife can be met.

Creating a healthy natural environment landscape design for your land can be divided into 6 basic processes that will help you move systematically toward achieving the goal of a healthy wildlife community on your land.

1. Inventory. This is where you take stock of the types of animals inhabiting your property. Observe which animals live in different areas of your land and how they interact. During inventory you'll learn about animal's habits, such as what they eat - berries, grass seed, insects, etc., where they sleep and hide - brush piles, rocky areas, trees, and whether they are most active during the day or night - diurnal or nocturnal, and how or if they migrate. You'll explore the ways animals survive seasonal climate fluctuations by how they eat and live at various times of year. Be sure to take into account as many life forms as you can; including insects - food and pollinators, reptiles, birds and mammals. Inventory activities also include assessing soil, air, plant and water conditions for their habitat values in your native landscape. Corroborate your findings with field guides and other local inventories.

2. Evaluate. After you have a rough inventory in hand, think about how trees, shrubs, wildflowers (herbs, forbs) and grasses support the wildlife on your property. Consider how the vegetation on your property supplies food and shelter for animal's needs as the seasons change throughout the year. Questions you might ask during the evaluation process include; "Did I observe a dominant species in my inventory?"," Do I think wildlife diversity on my land is adequate to sustain a dynamic balance?"," Is the mix of trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses, their condition and growth stages or ages and species variety appropriate for a sustainable equilibrium?"," Are the soil, air and water conditions supportive of native wildlife habitat?".

3. Define objectives for your landscape design. Now, it's a good idea to focus on one or two species and it's (their) associated habitat which you wish to foster on your land. While it is important to understand that the best habitat for any animal within a natural community considers all species, activities nurturing a particular species of your community for a prolonged and sustainable period can positively effect the well being of all members of the community. Solid objectives might include providing nesting and breeding areas to increase the diversity of song birds, creating better seasonal forage areas and migratory corridor spaces for large mammals, establishing food and shelter areas for small mammals, or increasing reptile and insect diversity to provide food for raptors.

4. Planning actions. Having considered the food and shelter needs of your species it's time to determine how tree, shrub, grass and forb (herb, wildflower) plantings will improve or maintain quality habitat. Along with seed and plant requirements, your plan should include how you will plant, cultivate and maintain the habitat plantings. It's also a good idea to write down any negative impacts your activities might have on soil conditions, wildlife populations, water quality or other environmental factors. Before you finalize your plan make sure you understand the best management practices for accomplishing your objectives with minimal negative impact.

5. Implement. Be flexible as you start incorporating concepts into reality. Observe the dynamics of nature. Here you'll have the opportunity to learn about your environment in greater detail. If you plan quality time with family and friends for the rewarding activities of tree planting, nest making, seeding and tree trimming you can benefit enormously from your efforts.

6. Monitor. By now you will begin to identify the dynamic relationships between soil, water, air, plants and animals that make your landscape unique. Refer back to your objectives and action plan. Ask yourself if you are seeing a positive response to your efforts. Think about how you can do better in the future.

You are part of a interactive landscape pattern that fluctuates and flows over time. By observing, taking part in and learning from your participation in forming the natural landscape you'll become more familiar and effective in creating a healthy well balanced wildlife habitat.

The Natural Plant Selector Kit for Wildlife is an excellent way to get started with your wildlife project. The basic kit comes with a question and answer survey and soil test that helps your define current plant, animal and soil conditions and habitat values on your property. With the question and answer survey you can better determine which wildlife objectives appeal to you most.

The results of the soil test and climate and habitat data from your location are evaluated by the Three Ravens Ranch team in relationship to your wildlife objectives and presented in a comprehensive report.

The seed and plant mixes recommended for your wildlife habitat project and also planting, cultivation and maintenance techniques targeted specifically to your landscape design project provide a solid beginning toward your goal. This low cost report gives good value. It is well organized and includes conservation community, seed and plant resources designed to provide you with tools for success in reaching your goal of a dynamic sustainable wildlife sanctuary on your rural property or country estate.