A Conversation with Kyle Lybarger from the Native Habitat Project

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Show notes:

In 2021, Kyle Lybarger began creating TikTok videos about native plants and grassland ecosystems in Alabama. He quickly became a social media star and even gained the attention of more traditional media streams including The Weather Channel. Kyle is doing terrific work teaching about and raising awareness of native plants and grassland communities. He is also actively involved in multiple on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects.

Kyle has been on my list of people to invite on the Backyard Ecology podcast for a while, but I couldn’t decide on the right topic. Well, if you follow his Native Habitat Project videos on any of his social media platforms, then you know that Kyle is a wealth of information on a variety of topics. He’s the type of person who would just be a lot of fun to go out in the field with or sit down and have a conversation with. So I decided, why not do that? Instead of trying to pick one specific topic to talk about, let’s just have a conversation and that’s what we did for this episode of the Backyard Ecology podcast.

Like any good conversation, ours takes many different twists and turns. One topic we talked about in detail is how less than 1% of our native grasslands remain, but well over 90% of the eastern U.S. is privately owned. The result is that many of our remaining grassland ecosystem in the East are on private land. Often times, the landowners don’t know they have anything rare or special, because to them it is just “normal.” This can sometimes be true even in the middle of a neighborhood like with the Porter’s goldenrod story that he shared with us. Other topics we discussed included habitat management activities we are doing, how people can learn to identify plants or grassland remnants, and his goals for the Native Habitat Project.


Episode image:

  • Field of native grassland flowers.
  • Photo credit: USFWS

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Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at www.backyardecology.net.

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