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My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Certified Wildlife HabitatI came across a great post over at Unplug Your Kids, an awesome blog that shares the stories and experiences of a TV free family. The post about creating a certified wildlife habitat in your own backyard caught my eye. I had no idea such a thing was possible but you can have your backyard certified by the National Wildlife Foundation as a wildlife habitat. You need to have basic habitat elements…food, water, cover, and a place to raise young. Food might include native plants that provide berries, nuts, nectar, and seeds. Water inlcudes places for animals to drink such a a birth bath, pond, or stream. Cover might inlcude dense bushes, wooded areas, burrows, log piles, and stone walls. Places for animals to raise their young could be burrows, birdhouses, dense bushes, and wooded areas. Also, important are the ways in which you garden and care for landscape..with no chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

I was delighted to find that our pretty much already met all of the criteria and we went ahead and got our yard certified as a family project. Beforehand we all spent time outdoors looking to make sure we had all the bases for a habitat covered and finding ways to improve. We also took lots of pictures so we could make a slideshow of our backyard habitat and included some pictures of the kids too as it is important to me that my yard be a sanctuary for animals AND children. The kids had a great time doing this and we plan to make a slideshow for every season.

After you get certified you will get a nifty certificate from the National Wildlife Federation, they send a press release to your local press telling them about the habitat, and you can get a weather proof sign for your yard declaring it a certified wildlife habitat.

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  • Wow, it’s beautiful!

  • Marlene Condon

    I was delighted to come across your blog. I am always pleased to discover folks who want to have a nature-friendly garden. In case you might be interested, I thought I would let you know about my book of the same name (The Nature-friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People–Stackpole Books 2006). If you have any questions about it, feel free to e-mail me at I would be happy to supply reviews of the book.

  • That’s a great slide show. I enjoy seeing the different habitats you and I have. It’s great having the kids do photos of their work. It’s a portfolio and a journal.

    You have great stuff here! I have a feed set up now to keep up to date!

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  • Alasandra

    It looks wonderful, I got several great ideas for my butterfly garden.

    I have just posted some new pictures of The Whiskers Memorial Butterfly Garden on my blog, that you might enjoy. I even managed to get some pictures of butterflies.

  • Dana

    Thank you for sharing this! It is something I am looking into as well. We have most of that, as well. Actually, all of it. Not quite so pretty, yet, but the birds at least don’t seem to mind.

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  • When I can, I am certainly making sure I have a nice big back yard. Especially for the kids. Fortunately, I don’t have kids right now, but even I would LOVE a back yard like yours. If it was me, though, I would certainly transform the garden (or a part of it) to a real organised English type garden. I’m a real fan of that type of idea, and would love to have a big back garden like that, which I could walk around in the early morning or the late afternoon and just enjoy. Yep… it will come one day…

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  • Fine art paintings

    Beautiful!!!! That is really great work!!! I must look for a summer program now and check which one can teach the same lesson to my kids.

  • Carrie

    where is the slideshow?  Am I missing something?  We want to do a back yard habitat and I would love to see your slideshow.  Thanks