Did you know you can turn your outdoor space into a certified wildlife habitat for the animals living in your neighborhood? Doing so will not only improve the atmosphere around your home, it will also allow you to help create a welcoming habitat for local wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will certify any outdoor space, large or small, upon the satisfaction of the requirements listed in the Backyard Habitat Certification Program.
With the pressures of urban development and growing suburbanization, many wild animals are faced with dwindling habits to call home. Environmentally harmful pest control and fertilizers are also affecting their livelihood. Animals such as wild honey bees, birds and butterflies could all use our help in the quest for a harmonious cohabitation with nature.
The Backyard Habitat Certification Program offers helpful guidelines that encourage environmentally responsible gardening practices that are sustainable and safe for everyone, human and animals.. The garden certification walk-through checklist shows the requirements for your garden or yard to pass the certification easily. Mainly, your outdoor space must provide food, water, cover, places to raise young and employ sustainable practices to qualify.
Food: native plants that provide nectar, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, foliage, pollen, and insects eaten by an exciting variety of wildlife.
Water: all animals need water for survive
Cover: a places for shelter and to hide from predators and/or stalk prey.
Places to Raise Young: wildlife need resources to reproduce and keep their species going. Some species have totally different habitat needs in their juvenile phase than they do as adults.
Sustainable Practices: how you manage your garden can have an effect on the health of the soil, air, water, and habitat for native wildlife as well as the human community.
Visit the NWF website here for more information about the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, tips, projects, plant lists and a planner. Happy gardening!