On my walk this morning I saw an official-looking sign on a fence in a residential neighborhood. The sign read “Certified Wildlife Habitat.”
I had to look it up when I got home. The website of the National Wildlife Federation says, “Wildlife needs our help. … You can invite wildlife back to your own yard and neighborhood by planting a simple garden that provides habitat. …
“Providing a sustainable habitat for wildlife begins with your plants. That’s why we call it a wildlife habitat ‘garden.’ When you plant the native plant species that wildlife depend on, you create habitat and begin to restore your local environment. Adding water sources, nesting boxes and other habitat features enhances the habitat value of your garden to wildlife. By choosing natural gardening practices, you make your yard a safe place for wildlife. …
“Here is what your wildlife garden should include:
“Food: Native plants provide nectar, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, foliage, pollen and insects eaten by an exciting variety of wildlife. Feeders can supplement natural food sources.
“Water: All animals need water to survive and some need it for bathing or breeding as well.
“Cover: Wildlife needs places to find shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or stalk prey.
“Places to Raise Young: Wildlife needs resources to reproduce and keep their species going. Some species have totally different habitat needs in their juvenile phase than they do as adults.
“Sustainable Practices: How you manage your garden can have an effect on the health of the soil, air, water and habitat for native wildlife as well as the human community.
“Already have all these elements in your wildlife garden? Certify today!” And there’s a box to click on if you think you are ready.
Now I’m wondering if the chipmunk on our back steps today thinks our yard could qualify. It’s a small yard, so not much cover. And we’d need to provide water. Hmm.
More at the National Wildlife Federation, here.