WLT strives to help property owners managing their land to maximize natural habitats and increase conservation values. To that end, we have produced a guide to naturalized landscapes to help property owners make their property more beautiful and attractive to plants and wildlife of all kinds. The conservation and stewardship of our land resources has important practical values. It leads to healthy air, food and drinking water; reduced consumption and dependency on energy; protection and enhancement of wildlife populations; and the fostering of diversity within the landscape.
According to a 2006 Metropolitan Conservation Alliance report, "The diversity of wildlife populations within a town or region is a direct measure of ecosystem health; therefore, it is also a measure of the ability of these ecosystems to provide important and cost-effective services to our communities. The benefits of maintaining... biodiversity are far-reaching. Issues of water quality, water quantity, rural aesthetics, and human health are all closely intertwined with biodiversity. A biologically diverse landscape is resilient to change and provides an insurance policy that the ecological services in our communities will continue, now and into the future."
Property owners who choose plants that will “naturalize” in areas within their properties such as wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and riparian buffers along streams and along pond edges can make a significant contribution to the conservation of resources. These plantings will enhance the conservation value of the property while saving energy and reducing the need for extraordinary care and avoidable maintenance costs. It is important to know, however, that naturalized does not mean care free. All landscapes need to be cared for, and care means work. The benefit? The work invested into a naturalized landscape contributes to a diverse and healthy environment.