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story.lead_photo.caption Ray Wallace, left, and Nathan Morfeld of Jefferson City's Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department plant one of two trees in a resident's yard Oct. 3, 2019. Volunteers from garden clubs assisted JC Parks and Missouri Department of Conservation employees in giving away several dozen trees to residents impacted by the May 22, 2019, tornado. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Anyone wanting to make their backyard a little more wild — by planting native vegetation and attracting birds, bees and other wildlife — can tune into a Missouri Department of Conservation webcast next month to find out how.

MDC is hosting a free live "Wild Webcast on Attracting Backyard Wildlife" at noon July 1. Registration for the hour-long event is available at short.mdc.mo.gov/Zht.

MDC urban wildlife biologist Erin Shank, of Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, is scheduled to explain "the basics of creating backyard wildlife habitat; the importance of native plants and insects for pollination, wildlife food and other benefits: planning and designing native plantings; attracting birds; supporting pollinators such as butterflies and bees; and more," according to a MDC news release.

"All wildlife types require the right balance of habitat and forage year-round. Making improvements on your property to better provide for wildlife leads to higher land productivity and can even enhance property value," according to MDC's website about improving wildlife habitat, mdc.mo.gov/property/improve-my-property/wildlife-management.

The site offers information for people looking to attract quail, pheasant, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, deer, doves, waterfowl, backyard birds, honeybees, ruffed grouse and other species to their property — but also how to keep non-native invasive species out.

More information is also available by contacting local private land conservationists.

Dean Stucker is the private land conservationist assigned to counties including Cole and Moniteau. Stucker may be contacted at [email protected] or 573-796-0286, ext. 4282.

Jordon Beshears is the private land conservationist assigned to counties including Callaway. Beshears may be contacted at [email protected] or 573-564-3715, ext. 110.

Seth Barrioz is the private land conservationist assigned to Gasconade, Maries and Osage counties. Barrioz may be contacted at [email protected] or 573-897-3797, ext. 3037.

Ryan Lueckenhoff is the private land conservationist assigned to counties including Boone. Lueckenhoff may be contacted at [email protected] or 573-875-5540, ext. 7.

Jodi Moulder is the private land conservationist assigned to Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. Moulder may be reached at [email protected] or 573-346-2210, ext. 6470.

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