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
"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
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.