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Little Habitat Project Water Actions

  • Level I: Choose One Action Item
  • Level II: Choose Two Action Items
  • Level III: Choose Three Action Items

Install a Wildlife Water Feature

Installing a wildlife water feature such as a birdbath or bubbler can help provide a natural water source for birds and insects. When installing a water feature for wildlife, it is important to consider factors such as type of water feature, its size, location, and maintenance requirements. Proper planning and maintenance are essential to ensure that the water feature remains healthy and safe to drink. Replace the water every few days to ensure it is free of animal waste, algae, and mosquito eggs/larvae.

Install a Puddling Area

Installing a puddling area can help provide a source of moisture and essential minerals that bees, butterflies, and moths, as well as snakes and frogs depend on. This can be a shallow depression on the ground or a dish such as a terra cot plate. Keep the dish filled with fresh water and periodically replace the mineral content by adding small amounts of sand and soil. If you add sugar to the water, make sure the dish is placed on a plate of water forming a moat to avoid ants.

Create a Garden Pond

Garden ponds can support wildlife species such as dragon flies, newts, and frogs. When creating a backyard pond for wildlife, it’s important to consider factors such as size, design, plant selection, safety, maintenance, and accessibility by providing gradual edges or shallow areas to allow safe access for wildlife to enter the pond. Visit your local pond shops and garden centers to receive more advice on how to properly install a pond or work with a pond contractor directly.

Eliminate Lawn Watering

Allow the grass to go dormant during the dry months. Although it may turn brown, it will green up again as it rains in the Fall. Conservation benefits include water conservation, water cost savings, and less maintenance. You can also consider alternative landscaping practices such as xeriscaping or incorporating native plants that require less water which still enhancing aesthetic and ecological value.

Disconnect Downspouts (where appropiate)

Disconnecting a downspout involves removing or detaching the downspout from the drainage system. When rainwater is allowed to flow onto the ground rather than being directed into storm drains or other artificial systems, it can help increase water availability for plants and wildlife, decrease the chance of flooding sewer systems, and help replenish groundwater supply. It is important to make sure that water flows away from the house and neighboring properties after the downspout is disconnected. Proper maintenance and regular inspection of your gutter and downspout system are essential to ensure proper function and protecting the property from water damage.

Install a Rain Garden or Bioswale

Rain gardens and bioswales are shallow depressions that are planted with native plants that help absorb and filter and reduce stormwater runoff to local waterways. Benefits include providing beneficial wildlife habitat by adding plant diversity and elevation interest to the landscape. Raingardens can be installed in low-lying areas or in areas where rainwater naturally collects. Important factors to consider when installing a rain garden include proper site location, soil texture, planting design, planning for overflow, long-term maintenance, and permitting.

Improve Irrigation Efficiency

Efficient irrigation systems minimize water wastage, which can help conserve water resources and increase water availability for natural ecosystems that benefit aquatic species such as fish and amphibians. Improving irrigation systems can be done with soaker hoses, drip irrigation, hand watering to deliver water directly to the roots, adjusting sprinkler heads to avoid watering sidewalks, installing an irrigation system and get it audited to collect information on how much water is needed based on precipitation rates. Work with your local irrigation supply shop to find the best system for your property.


  • Avoid watering during the hottest parts of the day. Watering in the mornings and evenings will help prevent evaporation.
  • Considering purchasing a moisture meter to determine the moisture levels in soil and prevent over watering.
headshot of Kassi smiling and wearing a yellow cap and a gray sweatshirt with her hair pulled back.
Kassi Roosth
Urban Conservation Planner
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