Native Plants Backyard Challenge

Looking for a new project for your yard that the whole family can enjoy? The Grange Insurance Audubon Center (GIAC) and Columbus Audubon (CA) have teamed up to create a Native Plants Backyard Challenge.

Ready for the challenge?

We are looking for 100 people/families in Central Ohio who would like to transform or further develop their backyards into native habitats. Not only will you be able to learn some simple, cost-effective steps to create this native wildlife habitat, but you will also have the opportunity to participate in a Community Science Project that will help to support the importance of native plant habitats in increasing and preserving biodiversity.

The fee to participate is just $25 if you are an Audubon member, or $40 if not – which includes a membership!  The fee covers the following:

  • A “tool kit” that includes:
    • Initial yard survey instructions and accompanying information.
    • List of native plants, ideal planting conditions, bloom schedule, and specific birds and insects that are attracted to and depend on each plant.
    • A list of invasive plants to avoid, identification, negative impacts, and tips on how to control these plants.
    • Schedule of events with monthly speaker information (for now, events will be virtual).
    • A participation sign for you to display in your yard to spread the word about your efforts in establishing a more native outdoor space.
    • A few extras to help you with your gardens.
  • An envelope with your choice of seeds from a seed buffet and four seed plugs to get you started. (Additional seeds, plugs and plants may be purchased at the challenge plant sales in March and in May)
  • You will also have the opportunity to purchase a Native Plant Backyard Challege completion sign for your outdoor space recognizing your completion in the program at the end of the year (additional fee of $25).

 ***There will be an option, upon checkout, to sponsor a household which will allow another household to participate in the program by covering the registration and membership fee as well as provide a plant stipend. ***

***If you are interested in participating for the program but the fee is cost prohibitive, please reach out to Allison Clark, Grange Insurance Audubon Center Public Engagement Manager, at to request to be placed on our sponsorship wait list. Sponsorship inquiries will be filled as sponsorship opportunities arise. You will be notified via email as soon as your request can be filled.***

Here are some dates to remember:

  • Nov – Dec, 2020: Registration
  • Jan, 2021: Challenge Kick Off
    • Pick up your tool kit at GIAC (this will be socially-distanced).
    • Participate in a presentation via Zoom (this will be recorded and made available online if you are not able to attend).
    • Identify and log your first Year Bird!
  • Jan – Mar, 2021: Participants plan their gardens.
  • Feb – Mar, 2021: Seed Buffet/Pick up plant plugs at GIAC. This will also include instructions on:
    • What’s In My Yard? – how to perform a backyard BioBlitz.
    • How to collect monthly data.
  • Mar 20th, 2021: Survey and counting begins!
  • May, 2021: Pick up plant plugs at GIAC, and a plant sale to purchase additional plugs and plants. The sale will be available both in person and virtually.
  • First of each month: Share Out – share what’s happening.
  • Sept – early Nov: Harvest your seeds and share event (seed collection, plant/seed swap).
  • Nov – Jan, 2022: Data collection/first Bird of the Year
  • Reunion – date to be determined: What did we learn? Prep. for second year data and recruitment for new participants.

Registration begins on November 1 - REGISTER HERE!  You may also register following the same link on the Columbus Audubon website and Facebook pages for both Grange Insurance Audubon Center and Columbus Audubon.

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