What better way to address the cold temperatures many of us find ourselves in, than to dream about spring and the outdoors? The Natural Resources Conservation Services of the USDA has a program called Backyard Conservation, in partnership with groups such as Audubon and the Wildlife Habitat Council. Whether you have rural acreage, a suburban yard, or a city lot, you can help protect the environment and add beauty and interest to your surroundings. Ten conservation practices have been scaled down for homeowners in a great downloadable booklet and tip sheets on this website. Conservation practices on non-agricultural land can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.