We’ve talked before about the process of certifying your wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, but aside from the pretty sign, is there a benefit to you for doing this?

In a word, yes!

But before we go into that, did you know that there are many other ways to certify your habitat garden?

Here’s a few:

  1. The North America Butterfly Association Butterfly Garden and Habitat Program has an exhaustive resource area for butterfly gardeners, including garden ideas, host plant lists, suggested plants, and regional gardening guides.
  2. Canadian Wildlife Federation‘s certification is similar to that of the National Wildlife Federation
  3. Monarch Watch Waystation Program is a great way to create stopover spots for Monarch butterflies during their amazing migration and for breeding new generations.
  4. Many state divisions of the National Audubon Society have habitat certification programs. For example, here is Pennsylvania’s and Oregon’s. Check with your local Audubon to find the program for your state.
  5. Many townships and cities have habitat certification programs specific to your immediate area. Your local nature center will probably be the best place to get this information.

While I have several friends who have certified their gardens in ALL of the above ways, you probably want to pick just one to start with.

The Benefits of Wildlife Habitat Certification

  • As you go through the process of certification, take a good look at all suggestions in the materials. You will discover many tips and ideas that you could easily add to your garden.
  • Every small action you take can have major benefits for the critters in your area. The certification process will help you find many small actions that you can easily implement.
  • The sign that announces that your garden is certified is not just about your pride. However, you should always be proud of your choices to protect wildlife. By doing just one thing, you have already done more than most people in this country. Congratulations! You are making a difference.
  • But the sign is a very useful way to start conversations with your neighbors. Often when neighbors see your sign, they will ask you questions about what it means. This is the perfect way to begin to encourage them to make more positive choices, too. You can begin to teach all of your neighbors about the joys of sharing your space with birds, butterflies, pollinators amphibians, and other critters.
  • And, finally, purchasing your sign is a great way of supporting these organizations who are doing great work in protecting wildlife.
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