Gardening for Wildlife

At Shedd, we work hard to attract wildlife to our landscape. By choosing native plants for landscaping, we provide food and shelter for our native beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife.  Look around the grounds—what wildlife can you spot?

Choose plants that help attract wildlife to your yard

Plants that attract wildlife offer various animals shelter as well as food (from berries and seeds to insects that thrive there too.)  Think seasonally – incorporate a range of plants that bloom across different seasons. Try these plants in your garden:

• Serviceberry – great for pollinators and birds
• Milkweed – a great plant for pollinators, especially butterflies
• Grasses – sedges work well in  wet or shady spots.  Prairie dropseed, for drier spots, helps attract birds.
• Perennial salvia adds nice color, will bloom multiple times in a season – and attracts pollinators

Upload photos of wildlife–like birds and insects–you see in our gardens.

Attracting Insects
Some beneficial insects eat harmful garden pests, while others pollinate our plants in their quest for nectar. Without pollinators, many plants could not produce fruits, vegetables, or seeds. Pollinators are not only important to our own vegetable and flower gardens but also to farms that supply the food we eat.

Attracting Birds
Birds are a prominent part of the wildlife in Shedd Aquarium’s gardens. Our Lake Michigan location positions us along a migratory bird route that stretches from North to South America. Along this route, our backyards, parks and shorelines have become important areas for migratory birds to rest and refuel along their journey. Gardens with native trees, shrubs and perennials help restore migratory and wildlife habitat that has been replaced by urban development.

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