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National Wildlife Day: The flora and fauna of Better Place Forests Flagstaff

Surrounded by the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona, the serenity of Better Place Forests Flagstaff is only broken by the sound of the magnificent birds and wildlife that call it home. When you enter the forest, every direction you look shows new scenes of breathtaking beauty. During a walk through the forest, you may see colorful butterflies, a variety of noteworthy birds, and picturesque meadows, all against the backdrop of Arizona’s tallest peaks. 

To celebrate National Wildlife Day, we wanted to highlight the incredible flora and fauna of Better Place Forests Flagstaff, a 160-acre forest oasis in the desert highlands. Home to a wide variety of butterflies, birds, and mammals — the Flagstaff forest is an idyllic place to call your forever home. 

Breathtaking Scenery & Unforgettable Views

The area is remarkable for an abundance of flora — over 250 plant species of flowers, grasses, and trees thrive in this region. A massive variety of wildflowers punctuate a sprawling meadow with dots of color, attracting the local hummingbirds and other birds and bees. During the summer monsoons, you may see one of the forest animals snacking on a variety of mushrooms, slime molds, toadstools, and other fungi produced by the rainy weather. The seasonal rain feeds into a wet meadow that ripples through the forest — always a wonderful sight that shakes up our preconceptions of Arizona. 

The forest also boasts an impressive 37 species of butterflies. Butterflies symbolize transformation, spiritual rebirth, life, and hope. Their short life span includes the transformation from fuzzy caterpillar to dazzling butterfly before quickly returning to the earth, reminding us of our own journey of growth and transformation — and the irrefutable fact that life is short. 

A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

Birdwatchers delight in wandering Better Place Forest Flagstaff as the area is home to over 120 species of spectacular birds. Local favorites include many types of bluebirds, chickadees, ravens, vultures, red tail hawks, Steller’s jays, doves, and so many others. Did you know that Arizona is also home to more hummingbird species than any other state in the US? You may spot up to eight types of these symbols of joy and happiness on your walk through the Flagstaff forest. 

Home to Many Creatures & Critters

The Flagstaff forest is home to a wide range of habitats, including lowland deserts and alpine tundras. Because of this, the forest has an impressive diversity of fish and wildlife, making it one of the most unique populations in the Southwest.  

Take a walk through Better Place Forests Flagstaff and you may spot any number of local inhabitants — porcupines, coyotes, badgers, snakes, horny toads, Abert’s squirrels, chipmunks, and bats are just a few who call the forest home. When you enter the forest you’re sure to see one of these smaller critters along the forest floor. 

Almost 100 species of mammals live in the forest, including nine of Arizona’s 10 big game species: bighorn sheep, elk, javelina, turkey, mountain lion, antelope, mule deer, and whitetail deer all live among the trees and meadows. Black bears are especially prominent in the region. With the ideal elevation, a lush landscape, and an abundance of a bear’s favorite foods like insects, berries, nuts, and plants, it’s no wonder the area is known for its black bears.

The forest water habitats are home to 16 native species of fish, such as native sport fish like roundtail chub, desert sucker, and Apache trout.

Imagine a final resting place where any of nature’s impressive creatures might wander past, or that may provide shelter or shade to a hawk, squirrel, and bobcat, all on the same day. The forest will constantly evolve, and your memorial tree will play an important part in its ecosystem. 

Find Your Forever Tree

Increasingly, people are seeking alternatives to traditional burial, or starting to look into green burial. Better Place Forests is in a category of its own, and provides a beautiful, natural resting place among the trees. Those looking to spread their ashes at the base of a memorial tree may have trouble choosing from the ancient grove of quaking aspen trees, airy willows, douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and southwestern white pines. In the end, choosing your memorial tree will come down to identifying what kind of tree resonates with you and your loved ones. No matter what you choose, your family and friends will be able to celebrate your memory in a place of true natural beauty for generations to come.

Explore the stunning beauty of our Flagstaff forest from the comfort of your own home — book a free online forest tour and experience the majesty of our Flagstaff forest for yourself.

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