Owasso Man Turns Backyard Into Landscape For Wildlife To Thrive

From Terry Brunholtz's backyard balcony in Owasso, there's always something to see and photograph. He has spent more than two decades creating a "Oklahoma Certified Wildscape," to share with wildlife through plants, trees and shrubs.

Friday, May 3rd 2024, 7:55 am



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Springtime is when many folks spend time planting and getting their gardens ready for the summer and fall. And some do it with the sole purpose of creating a space for wildlife to thrive.

In this Outdoor Life with Tess Maune, we head to Owasso to show you one man's wildscape for animals.

From Terry Brunholtz's backyard balcony in Owasso, there's always something to see and photograph.

Terry has spent more than two decades creating a space to share with wildlife through plants, trees and shrubs.

Retired from American Airlines, Terry said he hasn't always had a green thumb. But with a lot of research and a lot of work, a passion grew. First for everything his wildscape attracted.

"That's what excited me more than anything was to plant something, then have the animal that I planted it for come use it. That's the real thrill of the whole thing," Terry said.

Then came a love for the connection with nature he found through photography.

Outdoor Life With TessImage Provided By: Terry Brunholtz

"That's almost as much of a passion now as the wildflowers and the animals are," Terry said.

Everything he plants is a meal for insects and animals. And he makes sure his yard feeds wildlife year around.

Outdoor Life With TessImage Provided By: Terry Brunholtz

"That's one of the things I tried to do when I designed the landscape of the yard is I wanted to have things blooming throughout the year, as much as possible. Either blooming, or fruiting or something that would attract the animals," Terry explained.

Terry BrunholtzImage Provided By: Terry Brunholtz

Terry's yard is an "Oklahoma Certified Wildscape" -- a designation from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. ODWC's Jena Donnell said that's an area that's been landscaped for wildlife.

Terry BrunholtzImage Provided By: Terry Brunholtz

"Variety is going to be key. We want to have a mix of different colors, a mix of different heights, a mix of different structures," Jena said. "So all of those things added up can really make a big difference, even in a small space."

Terry BrunholtzImage Provided By: Terry Brunholtz

Terry's many pictures are proof that he's making a difference in his part of the world. His only wish is that he had started sooner.

"I didn't realize the fascinating world that we have here. And if I had it to do all over again, I'd probably do things a lot different," Terry said.

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