In 2012, Tom Chase, director of conservation strategies for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts, and his colleague, restoration ecologist Matt Pelikan, noticed that Martha’s Vineyard’s residential backyards could be better managed to connect the island’s conservation lands, which support local wildlife.
So Chase and Pelikan launched the Vineyard Habitat Network— a community for sharing ideas that improve the ecological value of yards and gardens. Over 100 landowners signed up, representing 400 acres of land.
Recently, the Vineyard Habitat Network merged with Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s YardMap digital mapping program to create Habitat Network, an online tool supporting people inspired to improve habitat in cities and suburbs—globally.
Building on momentum from Martha’s Vineyard, the reimagined, digitally powered program has now launched in and around Boston.
Try It at Home
Habitat Network is an online program that is available to anyone with access to the internet:
Visit: Create an account at www.habitat.network to get started.
Map: Use the tools to map the boundaries, habitats—including plants and trees—and manmade structures found on any property.
Plan: Learn what actions you can take to create better habitat.
Connect: Interact with others, share successes and learn how your actions can contribute to conservation efforts.