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spring flower garden by Bethany Sanders
Are you trying to decide what to do with that empty flower garden this season? Why not consider creating a certified wildlife habitat? Drawing wildlife to your backyard can be fun, relaxing, and an excellent educational opportunity for kids and adults alike.

The National Wildlife Foundation has created a program to help homeowners create habitat areas out of native, appropriate foods, plants, and shelters. Unlike sticking a bird feeder in your backyard, which is not always safe for birds, a wildlife habitat provides food and shelter in a natural setting.

Animals are naturally drawn to your yard because it provides them a safe place to eat, breed, and to protect themselves from weather and predators. For instance, a toad house is a great way encourage a healthy toad population, while nesting boxes will draw in certain kinds of birds.

Create a certified wildlife habitat(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Choose your spaceWaterFoodShelterEliminate invasive species

Once you've followed all of the necessary steps, you can apply to the National Wildlife Foundation to have your garden certified and to purchase a sign that says so. Ready to learn more? Visit the NWF for specific details and check out the gallery for hints on getting started.


  • MarkR

    You might need to explain what certified means, But if it means what I think it does there is no way in Hell you could get me to have my home "certified." It could limit permitting to expand the home, sell the home or modify in the future. If I have any "endangered" animals move on my property and I'm certified. I'm screwed.

    I like going native when it comes to planting but the last thing I want to do is screw my self by registering with big brother.

    Thanks but no thanks.

  • Bethany Sanders


    Good point for homeowners who are worried about such a thing. From my understanding, the "certified" part is more of a recognition of all of your hard work. It's NWF's way of acknowledging the steps you've taken to help wildlife in your community.

    To read more, here's their link:

    Thanks for reading!


  • Bethany Sanders

    I forgot to add that you certainly don't need to certify to follow their program guidelines, if it makes you uncomfortable!

  • 3 Comments / 1 Pages

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