The typical suburban yard lacks the basic necessities of wildlife habitat, devoid of birds, butterflies and other delightful creatures. These creatures are not only an essential part of local ecosystems but also provide an amazing nature show! What does a butterfly have to do with saving the Great South Bay? For starters, when we restore native habitat and create Bay Friendly Yards, we automatically have a reduced need for nitrogen-laden chemicals and fertilizers. Native plants are adapted to local conditions requiring less maintenance, and less water, to flourish. They are also recognized and called upon as food sources by our bird, insect and amphibian populations.

Ecosystem (noun) – a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

During our most recent monthly Bay Friendly Yard webinar, Director of Habitat Restoration Frank Piccininni adeptly walked us through how to create wildlife habitat right in our own backyards by choosing the appropriate vegetation for our soil types and then building on that with vertical and horizontal layering for diverse habitat. And if you’re looking for a good reason (or excuse for that matter) to be a little bit lazy, Frank provided some useful maintenance tips such as leaving the leaves and skipping the Fall cutback as additional means of ensuring a place for wildlife to call home. 

Frank answered multiple questions from our engaged audience who wanted to know even more about how they can start where they stand and restore habitat in their own yards.

This program was co-hosted by Lindenhurst Public Library, Babylon Public Library, Sayville Public Library, Patchogue-Medford Public Library and Cold Spring Harbor Public Library and was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors the Lessing’s Hospitality Group and Blue Point Brewing.

View the presentation here (runtime: 35 minutes, Q&A 20 minutes):

About Frank Piccininni

Frank Piccininni is a biologist, environmental attorney, and passionate environmentalist who is dedicated to restoring functional habitat to our human-impacted landscape. Frank received his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law, his M.S. in Biological Sciences from Marshall University, and his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a Partner and Co-Founder at SMPIL Consulting, Ltd. and Spadefoot Design and Construction through which he provides expert testimony for community and advocacy groups, and habitat restoration services to private, public, and commercial clients.

About Save The Great South Bay, 501(c)3:

A local non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the Great South Bay. Our Bay Friendly Yard series demonstrates the accessibility of a Bay Friendly Yard to each and every Long Island resident, helping to restore the Great South Bay, and with that strengthen our South Shore communities.