Growing Healthy Yards For Birds

An Epcot garden teaches visitors about bird-friendly yards.

Forget twirling princesses or
a magical mouse. The most enchanting attraction at Disney’s Epcot Theme Park this spring was an outdoor display teeming with native Florida plants, purple martins, and monarch butterflies. For the Birds Garden, presented by Audubon, ran for 10 weeks during the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

“The theme is creating a healthy yard,” says exhibit coordinator Don Kendzior,
 who was frequently on hand
 to answer questions. “It gives guests ideas for what they can do at home, whether they have a big yard or a balcony.” Visitors experienced a bird-friendly yard, with clean water in the birdbath, environmentally friendly plants instead of grass, and well-placed nesting boxes. Signs throughout offered helpful tips like “Keep cats indoors” and encouraged people to take Audubon’s Healthy Yard Pledge (http:// “When they see a butterfly emerging from its cocoon or a bird feeding its baby,” Kendzior says, “they leave inspired to go home and make a difference in their own yards.”

This story originally ran in the July-August 2013 issue as "The Magic Garden.”