These simple guides and quick-reference resources are great if you’re just getting started, or want to learn more about creating wildlife habitat, controlling invasive species, or finding local businesses that promote native biodiversity.


Grass and Shrubland Birds of Virginia

This guide includes tips and a checklist of illustrated bird species that are the current focus of VWL’s conservation efforts. These birds are solely dependent on shrub and grassland ecosystems.

Bringing Back the Butcher Bird: Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program

This pamphlet highlights the current efforts to understand and reverse the decline of Loggerhead Shrikes in Virginia.

Tips for Winterizing Your Yard for Wildlife

This reference highlights 10 quick tips on how you can help wildlife survive winter in your own backyard.

Field Management Guidelines for Grassland & Shrubland Birds

This guide is intended for landowners who are interested in helping grassland birds and have some flexibility in their management approaches. Even just choosing to implement one of the recommended practices will have a positive impact.

2020 TEDx Talk | “Bringing Back the Birds” by Dr. Amy Johnson

Watch VWL Program Director Dr. Amy Johnson’s TEDx Talk about how Virginia landowners and conservation scientists are working together to help reverse declines and bring birds back.


Meadow Restoration: Where to Begin

This handout provides landowners who are interested in establishing a native meadow on their property with helpful tips and resources.

Suggested Species List for Meadow Plantings, Northern Virginia

This is a comprehensive list of species that we recommend for use in native meadow plantings in the 16-county region surrounding Shenandoah National Park.

Grassland Plants of Virginia

This pamphlet provides tips on how to protect natural and semi-natural grasslands, and presents an overview of 10 native grassland plants in Northern Virginia.

Native Plant Highlights

The Native Plant Highlights are weekly posts written by our VWL team and contributors that focus on native species ranging from common to rare, found from forest to field to backyard right here in Virginia.

2022 TEDx Talk | “A Wilder Way: How Plants Can Guide Our Future” by Charlotte Lorick

Watch Conservationist and Naturalist Charlotte Lorick’s TEDx talk about how paying closer attention to plants in our local environment can lead to profound ecological benefits.


Bumblebees of Virginia

This pamphlet provides tips on how to promote native bumblebee populations, and presents detailed photos of 11 bumblebee species found throughout Virginia.


Helpful tips and references from other agencies and organizations about planting native plants, controlling invasive species, creating wildlife habitat, prescribed burn management, and technical and financial assistance for landowners interested in conservation best practices.

Native Plants & Invasive Species

Invasive species provide limited food and habitat for wildlife species.  These species also frequently create monocultures by outcompeting valuable native plant species.

Virginia Native Plant Society

Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora

Plant Virginia Natives

Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (VDGIF)

Blue Ridge PRISM Invasive Plant Factsheets

Invasive Plant Species of Virginia

USDA Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide

Go Native Go Local

Audubon Native Plant Finder

Native Plants: Native Grassland Plants

Native Plants – Herbs

Mid-Atlantic Native Meadows

A Landowner’s Guide to Native Warm-Season Grasses in the Mid-South

Wildlife & Pollinator Habitat

References and guidance on how to manage your land for native wildlife. Roughly 80 percent of the world’s plant species require wildlife assisted pollination.  Landowners can help through supporting and planting native plant species, which are beneficial to pollinators.

Audubon At Home: Creating Wildlife Habitat

Bargain Basement Bobwhites

Wildflower Meadow for Wildlife and Pollinators

Nests for Native Bees

Farming For Bees

Managing Land in the Piedmont of Virginia for the Benefit of Birds & Other Wildlife

Managing Working Lands for Northern Bobwhite

Selecting Plants for Pollinators

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed burns are an ideal management tool for keeping grasslands and old fields in early successional states.  These early successional states provide the right mixture of plant species diversity and plant density to support many grassland wildlife species such as quail and sparrow species.

Beyond the Bonfire: A Primer on Prescribed Fire for Virginia’s Private Landowners

Virginia’s Smoke and Burn Management Guidelines

Virginia Department of Forestry Prescribed Burn Management Plan

Virginia Department of Forestry Prescribed Fire and Smoke Management Plan

Technical & Financial Assistance

Numerous conservation programs offer cost-shares and/or incentives to promote the planting of native warm-season grasses. Review the resources below for available programs and offerings.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Conserving Habitat Through the Federal Farm Bill A Guide For Land Trusts and Landowners 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Security Program (CSP)

Landowner Incentive Program (LIP)

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)

Virginia Farm Service Agency Programs

Virginia Natural Resource Conservation Service Programs

Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District

Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP)


VWL is supported 100% by grants and donations and our work is made possible by the generous contributions from our community.

The Smithsonian Institution is a 501(c)(3). All contributions are tax-deductible.


Virginia Working Landscapes
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
1500 Remount Road, MRC 5537
Front Royal, Virginia 22630