Friday, February 24, 2012

How to Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat

From National Wildlife Federation:
Whether you have an apartment balcony or a 20-acre farm, you can create a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in commercial and residential areas. By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young--and by incorporating sustainable gardening practices--you not only help wildlife, but you also qualify to certify your yard.

Why should I create a NWF certified wildlife habitat?
  • It's fun! Watching wildlife in action can be fun and relaxing for everyone. Your habitat may attract beautiful songbirds, butterflies, frogs and other interesting wildlife for observing.
  • Curb appeal! Replacing grass lawns with native wildflowers, shrubs, trees & water features will increase the beauty of the property & provide a natural refuge for wildlife.
  • Bring wildlife home! Restoring habitats where commercial and residential development have degraded natural ecosystems can be your way of giving back to wildlife.
  • Eco-friendly! Gardening practices that help wildlife, like reducing the use of chemicals, conserving energy and water and composting also help to improve air, water and soil quality.
  • Community! Gardening for wildlife can help you share your love of wildlife with others.
What you need to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat

  • Provide Food Sources: Everyone needs to eat, plant native plants & trees to provide nectar, pollen, berries & seeds.
  • Provide Water Source: Wildlife need sources of clean water for drinking, bathing & reproduction.
  • Provide Cover & places to raise young: Wildlife need a place to hide to feel safe from people, predators & bad weather.
  • Sustainable Gardening to Conserve Water: Add mulch, reduce lawn areas, use rain barrels & remove invasive plants to help conserve water.
Certify your habitat!