Gardening for the Birds

KWF 042217a
Kingsland Wildflowers’ main roof garden on Earth Day 2017

Kingsland Wildflowers, a series of roof gardens at 520 Kingsland Avenue, celebrated Earth Day with a free public lecture on native and bird friendly gardens and a roof tour.  Joyann Cirigliano, president and Atlantic Flyway projects coordinator at Four Harbors Audubon Society, gave an eco-inspiring presentation titled, “My Yard Is for the Birds”.  She upped her usual tempo as she had to fit a one- and-a-half hour speech into 56 minutes.  She didn’t miss a beat and the audience went happily along for the ride.


Cirigliano encourages the practice of planting more than 50% native species in a garden as this benefits local birds and wildlife. In addition she advises to lay off the pesticides because insects are part of the working order as pollinators and as a food source.  She went on to say holes in the leaves of plants are actually a good sign: it means you have a native species because local bugs eat local plants.

Also, “Don’t expect to have butterflies if you spray and don’t want to feed their kids [caterpillars].”


She then brought up climate change, or as Cirigliano termed it “Global Climate Disruption”, and cited that our recent record temperature highs and lows, a

Audubon at KWF 001 WEB
Niki Jackson, Project Coordinator for Kingsland Wildflowers and Kathryn Heintz, Executive Director of NYC Audubon after the bird-friendly garden presentation concluded

s well as unseasonable swings, will disrupt plant growth, which in turn disrupts animals and birds. Doing as much as we can now, could slow this disruption down.  For instance: “Let’s grow 1 million bird-friendly plants together.” These are just highlights of a very informative talk that encompassed a multitude of elements. For more information on bird-friendly plants native to New York visit this page on the Audubon website:


One of the refreshments at the event was also bird-friendly.  Birds and Beans coffee was hot on tap, and holds the distinction of being the only coffee company that supports bird-friendly farmers only.  Currently they are direct to consumer sales via their website ( Their coffee can be purchase at independent markets and bird preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and such.


Kingsland Wildflowers also announced they just added a fourth roof. It is being prepped and will be planted with sedum, like their third roof. Sedum green roofs absorb carbon dioxide in addition to promoting birds and biodiversity. If you are interested in visiting Kingsland Wildflowers they are currently working on the public viewing schedule for their roof gardens.  They will be posting this on their website: .  You can also schedule group tours by emailing .  There will also be special events where the public will have access to the roof gardens.  The National Audubon Society will have their next lecture on May 10th at 6pm, and Kingsland Wildflowers will have their Fall Fest on September 23rd (time TBD) with other TBD events in between.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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