We are Edie Parnum and Barb Elliot, Co-Directors of the Backyards for Nature program of the Valley Forge Audubon Society, which serves Southeastern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. We co-founded Backyards for Nature in 2002 as a program to inspire and teach others to create habitats that welcome birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Encouraging the use of our locally native plants is a cornerstone of the program. We provide ideas for making yards more wildlife-friendly, give presentations to local environmental and gardening-related groups, and Edie offers on-site visits to homeowners wishing to make their yards more wildlife-friendly. On our Backyards for Nature blog we post articles that celebrate nature in our yards and encourage others to create healthy habitats for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
We are both certified as National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Habitat Stewards and received additional training in gardening for wildlife and native plants at various workshops and conferences. Our yards have been NWF-certified Backyard Wildlife HabitatsTM since the 1990s. Because we grow plants that host Monarch butterflies and caterpillars as well as other pollinators, our yards are also certified as Monarch WaystationsTM and Pollinator Habitats.
We are avid birders and contribute to several citizen science projects, including eBird and Project FeederWatch. Edie is a bird walk leader at Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. As enthusiastic moth-ers, we host Moth Nights at our properties. We are passionate about attracting birds, butterflies, moths, bees, dragonflies, frogs, toads, bats and other wildlife to our properties and sharing that experience with others. We invite you to explore this website and our blog for more information about creating habitat, ecosystem gardening, native plants, and the fascinating local wildlife you can attract to your garden.