NWF shows people how to garden for wildlife

RESTON, Va.—The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) announces that the property of Nancy Jacobson in Rockford, is now recognized as an official Wildlife Habitat site. This achievement contributes to the organization’s goal of certifying 70,000 sites by its 70th anniversary in 2006. The property now attracts a variety of birds, butterflies and other wildlife while helping to protect the local environment. With the help of NWF, many habitat enthusiasts have turned their yards and other garden spaces into enticing wildlife refuges.

NWF began the Wildlife Habitat certification program in 1973 and has since certified more than 58,000 habitats nationwide. The majority of these sites represent the hard work and commitment of individuals and families providing habitat near their homes, but NWF has also certified more than 2,400 schools and hundreds of business and community sites. Certified habitats can be found everywhere from post offices, hospitals and places of worship to community parks, corporate buildings and municipal facilities. The average habitat is between one-third and one-half acre, but certified sites range from urban balconies to 1,000-acre areas.

Any habitat enthusiast can create a certified habitat and learn the rewards of gardening for wildlife. NWF teaches the importance of environmental stewardship by providing guidelines for making landscapes more hospitable to wildlife. Habitat restoration is critical in urban and suburban settings where commercial and residential development encroaches on natural wildlife areas. In addition to providing for wildlife, certified habitats conserve our natural resources by reducing or eliminating the need for fertilizers, pesticides or irrigation water, which ultimately protects the air, soil and water throughout our communities.

Habitats can also produce financial rewards for homeowners. Realtors will promote the certified status of homes for sale because they see it as an added selling feature. It’s an attractive element to many potential home buyers looking to share their landscape with Mother Nature. Potential homeowners who are attracted to a house with a certified habitat are also more likely to maintain the habitat once they take ownership.

From the Aug. 16-22, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!