Do you want to make your property or your school a more attractive, safer wildlife habitat, while also taking better care of the environment? If so, why not take part in the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Certification program through the National Wildlife Federation (NWF)?
The NWF has set guidelines for the certification program, which are aimed to help you transform your outdoor spaces away from lawn-dominated areas that contain invasive exotic plants and chemical pesticides/fertilizers. Instead, they help you move toward a native plant-based, chemical free, wildlife-friendly habitat. As a result, your yard, school, or even your balcony (if you're a city apartment dweller) can receive national certification as a wildlife habitat, which gives you a sense of accomplishment, helps take care of wildlife in your area, and improves your local environment.
Here's how you can do it. The Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program's certification requirements are fairly straightforward. These are the steps:
Basic Habitat Elements - Here's How
WATER - Provide a water source for drinking and bathing. Some of you have natural sources, like lakes, streams and ponds on your property, but those that do not can create them. Use clean birdbaths and change the water daily. Or, install a small pond or stream with some of the great do-it-yourself pond products available today.
COVER - Meet the cover/shelter needs of wildlife by taking a look at your property. Evergreen trees, native vines, shrubbery, brush piles, rock piles, meadow grass, and ponds all provide excellent cover for wildlife. During inclement weather, birds may use a man-made roost box to escape cold winds.
PLACES TO RAISE YOUNG - All species reproduce, and it's important to include areas of your property where they can safely raise their young. Birds need tree cavities or man-made nestboxes. Amphibians need ponds or swamps. Some animals need burrows or dens, and some need tall grasses.
Sustainable Landscaping - Here's How
Backyard Wildlife Certification is something you can take pride in and something that improves your neighborhood. For full details on what you can do to get your property certified, visit www.nwf.org. With Backyard Certification, you can make a difference in the environment, and to wildlife - for years to come.