Celebrate ‘Garden for Wildlife Month’

    May is Garden for Wildlife Month.  If you enjoy watching birds and other animals, this may be the time to think about creating some habitat for them right where you live.  And if you provide the four elements wildlife need to thrive–food, water, cover, and a place to raise their young, you can qualify for a Certified Wildlife Habitat designation by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

   In 1973, NWF created its Garden for Wildlife program.  Gardening with birds and other native animals in mind makes a real contribution to the health of many species, especially since we humans have destroyed so much habitat by expanding our cities, shopping strips, and roads, etc., into the areas where so much wildlife lives.

     Pretty much anywhere you live, whether in a suburban neighborhood, a rural area, or even in the heart of a city, you can probably provide the four elements wildlife need to thrive and raise their young.

     In reading about NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program (CWHP), I was surprised and delighted to learn that even someone who lives in an urban apartment, with only a balcony for outdoor space, can create a high quality wildlife habitat that qualifies for certification!

     NWF’s Wildlife Habitat program manager describes several tiny, urban apartment habitats that NWF has certified.  In Suffolk, Massachusetts, for example, a couple  strung their 25-square foot balcony with four hanging bird feeders that attract pine siskins, cardinals, redpolls, blue jays, and a half-dozen other species.  The couple also put out oriole and hummingbird feeders.  And containers of columbine, red-tooth dogwood, and other well-chosen plants provide cover for the birds.  

     I find it so heartening that even when a tiny space is equipped with the things wildlife need, they will find and use that space, wherever it is.

     If you have more outdoor space available, like a back yard, you have more options for creating habitat.  And the National Wildlife Federation has dozens of suggestions for what to plant, ways to provide needed cover, and so much more.  If you get your wildlife habitat certified, you can display your certification sign proudly.  Perhaps you will inspire neighbors and passers-by to establish their own wildlife habitat.

     For information on how to get started in creating your own certified wildlife habitat, click here:  http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create-a-Habitat.aspx

For tips on creating and maintaining wildlife habitat on a balcony or porch, click here:  http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazines/national-wildlife/gardening/archives/1996/turning-a-small-space-into-a-big-attraction-for-wildlife.aspx

Once you get started, you can sit back and enjoy watching the wildlife you attract!

April Moore





One Response to “Celebrate ‘Garden for Wildlife Month’”

  1. James Says:

    Thank you, I`ll look into this remarkable opportunity to reverse the decline of the many creatures, stymied by our lust for real estate.

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