When we were house-shopping last year, I fell in love with the backyard of the home we ultimately purchased. I loved the house, too, but the serenity of the yard- despite being smack dab in the middle of a suburban community- was impossible to resist. So when I found out about The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden For Wildlife Program, I knew our yard was a perfect candidate to be Certified Wildlife Habitat.
So maybe this isn’t your typical post from me! BUT I don’t know how well-known this program is, so I definitely wanted to write up a post on it in case ya’ll want to work towards certifying your own yards!
The gist of the program? You must provide the following elements:
- Sources of Food
- Sources of Water
- Places to Raise Young
The website gives examples for each of these elements and how many of each you need to provide for certification. It’s very simple and straightforward, actually! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.
Sources of Food
This one was easy for us. We have several bird feeders: one that hangs with seeds and suet, a platform feeder for seeds or bluebird nuggets, and a hummingbird feeder. We also have a butterfly garden (which is still under development) that provides nectar flowers, as well as blueberry bushes. Now, the blueberries are for us! But since I don’t have them caged off, I’m quite certain the birds will beat us to them as they ripen.
Sources of Water
We don’t have any streams, canals, or drainage ditches on our property- purposefully! BUT, we do have bird baths- a couple of different varieties, actually.
Because our community is older than some, we have lots of mature trees in our yard (and in neighboring yards, too). So providing cover was not something we had needed to add. Our entire backyard is surrounded by cypress trees, which gives us wonderful privacy- AND it means our yard is the Melrose Place of the avian world.
We also have lots of dense shrubbery in the corners of the yard and as part of the pre-existing landscaping. For instance, these hostas become the umbrella’d underworld for our resident chipmunks.
Place to Raise Young
And last but not least, places to raise young. We have PLENTY of options for randy wildlife, in natural form (mature trees) and placed form (bird houses). And while I’m not advocating for it, I’m quite certain the protected area under my porch may be a chipmunk nursery.
So there you have it- our Certified Wildlife Habitat! AND I’ve got the certificate of authenticity to prove it.
We also received a sign we can post- and I’m enough of a biology nerd to do just that!
So, who’s next? Is your yard potential certified wildlife habitat?