I did a post last spring on native and drought tolerant plants for California landscaping, and then came across this little tidbit: The National Wildlife Federation has a program, “that helps members turn their backyards into wildlife havens.” How spectacular! Being a national organization, this program applies all over the country, not just to California. And you can certify your garden to be one of 140,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats across the US!
The cost is minimal ($20 dollars and is what you’d pay for a good plant, so consider it part of the landscaping budget) and you get certified; you become a member of the NWF with a year subscription to their award-winning National Wildlife® magazine; a free subscription to their quarterly tip-filled newsletter which will help you run and maintain your habitat; and your name listed in the NWF national registry of certified habitats.
The best part is that it’s not as difficult as it might sound to get your yard up to snuff. You need some basic amenities for the critters that most yards probably already have to one degree or another, stated as per NFW’s site:
- Food sources like native plants
- Water sources like birdbaths or fountains
- Places to take cover like birdhouses or thickets
- Places to raise young like dense vegetation or shrubs or nesting boxes
- Sustainable gardening like chemical free fertilizers and compost
This program can be instigated just about anywhere: on your college campus, at your child’s school or in any other community garden area. Check out The National Wildlife Federation’s website for details and more information on how easy it is to turn your outdoor space into a wildlife habitat!
Headline image © Howard Cheek, from TheNationalWildlifeFederation.org
 All information from National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program.