Easy Being Green

It’s Easy Being Green!

Create Backyard Habitats:

Check out the educational graphic at Cameron Park Zoo’s Junior League of Waco Butterfly Garden for ideas on plants for your garden that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Our bird staff suggests the following:

Flowers for Attracting Hummingbirds

Turk’s Cap: an easy to grow shrubby perennial with bright red, funnel form flowers throughout the summer. Will die back in winter but comes back vigorously in spring. Height: 4 ft. Grows in sun to part shade.

Beard Tongue: A clumping perennial that has tubular scarlet flowers on upright stems.
Height: 21-24 inches. Grows in sun to part sun.

Summer Phlox: A hearty perennial that blooms from summer to early fall with red or pink flower varieties.
Height: 2- 4 feet. Grows in full sun.

Coral Honeysuckle: A shrubby vine with evergreen leaves and coral red flowers all summer. It can be pruned to keep the plant more compact. Will spread if left to it’s own devices.
Height: 8 – 12 feet. Grows in full sun to part shade.

“Madam Galan” Trumpet Vine: A vigorous deciduous vine that will decorate any fence with showy red trumpet-shaped flowers.
Grows in full sun.

Flowers for Attracting Butterflies
It is best to plant large groups of flowers when attracting butterflies to your yard.

The number one flower for attracting butterflies is:
Greg’s Mist: Blooms from March to November, grows profusely, and is drought resistant.

Other flowering plants that attract butterflies:
Scarlet Sage
Butterfly Weed
Purple Fall Aster
Purple Coneflower
Black Eyed Susan
Buddleia (also called the Butterfly Bush)

Don’t Forget Munchies for the Catapillars!


Most caterpillars prefer only a limited range of host plants. For instance, the Monarch caterpillar eats milkweed while the Painted Lady prefers hollyhock and thistle.

Recipes that are for the Birds!
Cameron Park Zoo’s bird staff also suggests the following recipes for feeding some of your feathered friends:

Hummingbird Nectar

Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and bring to a boil to dissolve.
Cool before filling feeder.
Refrigerate if not using right away.

Replace nectar in feeders often, especially during hot days. Feeders should be disinfected regularly with a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach.

Hard Suet Tidbit Cakes

1/2  lb.   fresh ground suet
1   cup    wild bird seed mix
1/8  c     chopped peanuts
1/4  c     chopped raisins

1.  Melt suet in saucepan over low heat. Allow it to cool thoroughly, and then reheat.

  1. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Allow the suet to cool until slightly thickened, pour into bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour into pie pan or suet feeder to harden.

Peanut Butter Suet Mix

2 c   fresh ground suet
1 c   peanut butter
2 c   yellow corn meal
2 c   fine cracked corn

  1. Melt suet in saucepan over low heat. Allow it to cool thoroughly, and then reheat.
  2. Add peanut butter, stirring until the peanut butter is melted and well blended.
  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing well.
  4. Pour into forms or suet feeders, and allow to cool.

Use our natural resources wisely: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle


Reduce the amount of water you use:

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
  • Dishwashers use less water than hand-washing dishes, but be sure to wait to run the dishwasher until it is fully loaded
  • Plant native and low water plants.
  • Only water lawn in the evening and reduce the amount of time and how often sprinklers are used.

Reduce the waste that you produce:

  • Buy less – use less
  • Do not buy products that come in excessive packaging.
  • Buy recyclable products.
  • Use your own bags at the supermarket.
  • Say NO to junk mail: call the toll free numbers on catalogues and other mailers to remove yourself from their marketing lists.
  • Compost –  its good for your garden!


  • Disposable items don’t necessarily need to be disposed of – try washing that plastic cup and keeping it for other drinks.
  • Donate things you no longer need to charitable organizations, rather than sending them to the landfill.
  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper.
  • Be creative! Look for new ways to use old containers and other items – turn old t-shirts in cleaning rags and use instead of paper towels.


  • Don’t throw it away if it can be recycled.
  • Check out Solid Waste Recycling to find out how to recycle in Waco.
  • The zoo puts a new spin on recycling by turning your trash into toys for animals. You can help by donating the following items to the zoo:

Cans for Critters – the Zoo will cash in your aluminum cans for money to buy enrichment items for the animals.
Old flat sheets and blankets – make sure they are clean!
Clean PVC pipe pieces
Phone books
CDs and DVDs
Paper towel and gift wrap rolls