Leslie and Tom had given little thought to identifying native and non-native plants until their St. Louis Audubon Bring Conservation Home consultation in 2013. The report recommended adding native plants in a few areas that are prone to erosion as well as in the areas where significant invasives would be removed. Eradicating, planting, and erosion control is ongoing, and deer browse is an issue for which there is no simple remedy.
While the 3-acre lot is predominantly an oak woodland, there are several other native tree species across the landscape. Several kinds of mushrooms, mosses, lichens, ferns, vines, and native shrubs make their home along the paths. Animals seen and/or heard include coyotes, red fox, groundhogs, opossums, racoons, chipmunks, squirrels, bats, frogs, turtles, and lots of deer. Birds include owls and various birds of prey, 5 types of woodpecker, many songbirds, turkeys, herons, and more. It’s a special place for the Tuppers and the wild things.