Landowner Resources

Planting Native Species

monarch-01If there is one thing you as a landowner can do to make Ottawa a livable city for wildlife it’s planting native species of trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants.  By favouring native plants over aliens in the urban, suburban and rural landscape, gardeners can do much to sustain biodiversity.  Native plants support and produce more insects than alien plants and in turn feed more numbers and species of other animals.  Alien plants in our gardens are often so non-nutritious to the other members of the garden community that they might as well not be there at all.

There are many excellent resources to help you select plants for your Ottawa area garden:

  • City of Ottawa Native Plants – provides some local sources for plants, information links, and lists of ground covers, wild flowers, shrubs, and trees.
  • Fletcher Widlife Garden – provides extensive lists and information about flowers, ferns, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees suitable for Eastern Ontario.  Run by the Ottawa Field Naturalist Club.
  • The Canadian Wildlife Federation has descriptions of many native species including the native animals that each species supports.
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment Tree Atlas – provides an interactive map that lists trees suitable by selected region.
  • Bringing Nature Home:  How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, by Douglas W. Tallamy – An entomologist at the University of Delaware, Dr. Tallamy describes the importance of native species to providing food for native insects, which in turn feed many native animals higher up the food chain:  birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and humans!  Although written for the mid-Atlantic US, the principles of biodiversity are the same and much of the plant and insect information is relevant to the Ottawa area.  The Ottawa Public Library has a copy of this book.
  • Check out Dr. Tallamy’s many lectures on YouTube.  Here is his Plant Natives 2015 presentation.
  • Shrubs For Wildlife (PDF) brochure.

How to Plant the Right Trees and Shrubs in the Right Places?

The City of Ottawa has a number of tree planting programs available to assist homeowners, schools and community groups with the planting of native trees and shrubs. To learn more about these initiatives click on the links below:

Building and Installing Bat Boxes

Bats are significant consumers of night-flying insects like mosquitos, but their habitat is in decline.  Providing bats with a roosting site near your home can offer these desirable predators a safe place to rest and reproduce.  Correct placement of a bat box is critical for success.  For landowners who received OSC-built bat boxes or who want to make their own box we recommend the Fletcher Wildlife Garden publication, but there are also three web sites with information on the construction and placement of the boxes.

Protecting Your Well

Protect Your Well (PDF) brochure