WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 19, 1997
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

Simplify yard and garden chores and attract more wildlife

SPOKANE -- People looking for ways to simplify yard and garden maintenance chore will get lots of ideas at a free demonstration here on June 7 and 8.

An added bonus of reducing yard work: more wildlife to enjoy.

The seventh annual "Open Yard - Bird Fair" features the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program. Ron and Gerry Krueger, charter members of the ten-year-old program, host the event on their property at E. 11415 Krueger Lane (northeast of Argonne and Bigelow Gulch, off Pleasant Prairie Road.)

The event is like an "open house," with visitors coming and going from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 7 and 8. Guided tours show the Kruegers' low-maintenance gardens that have become a haven for birds and other wildlife. Their two-year-old project to restore 18 acres of farmland to native trees, shrubs and grasses for wildlife habitat also is featured.

"Less is more," says gardener Gerry Krueger, who does little or no watering, trimming, spraying, weeding, mowing or other traditional and time-sapping yard and garden chores. She shares her shortcuts and other ways to simplify garden maintenance in her tours, acknowledging that the key is avoid being too tidy or neat.

For example, last winter's ice storm provided tree and shrub debris that can be piled. Brush piles provide hiding, nesting and thermal cover for many birds and other wildlife species.

WDFW personnel will be at the Open Yard - Bird Fair to explain the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program, sell $5 program information packets and answer questions.

Spokane Audubon Society members, as well as local vendors of backyard birding products, also will be on site throughout the weekend event.

Approximately 8,000 persons have learned backyard wildlife habitat development by attending the Open Yard - Bird Fair over the past six years.