Shannon Mach, Backyard Conservationist and Pollinator Gardener – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Shannon Mach, Backyard Conservationist and Pollinator Gardener

Name: Shannon Mach

Residence: Shannon was born and raised in Southeast Michigan. She resides in a suburban neighborhood with a large backyard. Together with her husband, Shannon shares her garden with her three dogs and numerous wildlife visitors.

Interests and Hobbies: Reading, art, spinning yarn, photography, gardening, and writing.

Garden Philosophy:  Shannon has a deep respect for nature and wildlife that began as a young child. She has embraces the philosophy and ideas shared by University of Delaware Professor, Doug Tallamy. Tallamy believes that humans and nature can effectively live together and that residential backyards have the potential to offer hope for long-term conservation efforts.

Background: A few years back, Shannon began her journey to create a backyard habitat to attract and support insects, butterflies, birds, toads, bees, and other wildlife. Her garden has grown and is now certified as a Monarch Waystation, a Wildlife Habitat, a Butterfly Garden, and a Pollinator Habitat. Shannon’s residential habitat has larval host plants for numerous butterflies and moths including Giant Swallowtails, Red Admirals, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Eastern Black Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites, Monarchs, Cecropia Moths and others!

Shannon describes her backyard habitat as a garden with wings and enjoys watching these amazing creatures transform from egg, to caterpillar, and then close as butterflies. Another focus of her garden has been native bees. Due to dwindling numbers, she has concentrated her efforts on providing appropriate nectar sources, housing, and water for these fascinating creatures.

Current Projects:  While endeavoring to learn about pollinators, and their needs, Shannon’s path has taken many interesting and meaningful twists and turns. Along the way, she discovered several kindred spirits who share her love of pollinators — this led to her creating a Facebook group known as Serendipity.

Serendipity is defined as: To find something (or someone) meaningful by chance, in a happy and beneficial way. The philosophy of the group is to create a place that feels like a nature walk with friends; a place for sharing photographs of pollinator gardens, backyard habitats, garden ponds — and the insects, butterflies, and wildlife visitors that enrich our lives.

The mission of the group is to raise awareness of the many ways a backyard garden habitat is able to positively impact the environment. Serendipity’s vision is to encourage and inspire others through kindness, garden project sharing, creativity, and active learning.