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Community Habitats

Earn NWF’s Wildlife-Friendly Certification for Your Community

Community Habitats

For more than 40 years, the National Wildlife Federation, through its Garden for Wildlife Program, has engaged homeowners, businesses, schools, universities, places of worship, parks, civic and community organizations and others in creating and certifying wildlife-friendly landscapes on their properties. 

The NWF Community Wildlife Habitat program, started in 1997, empowers citizen leaders to take action for wildlife in their own communities. The program provides these leaders with a framework to restore wildlife habitat and educate and engage community members while working to attain NWF’s esteemed certification as a wildlife-friendly community.

Communities of all sizes are encourage to apply. We work with large cities and counties as well as small towns and neighborhoods.

To date, there are more than 80 certified Community Wildlife Habitats and more than 60 Community Wildlife Habitats that are registered and partnering with NWF to becoming certified. 


What is an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat?

NWF Community Wildlife Habitats provide habitat for wildlife throughout the community—where people live, work, learn, play and worship.  Communities do this by certifying individual backyards, school grounds and public areas like parks, community gardens, places of worship and businesses, as NWF Certified Wildlife Habitats®.  Each individual certified site within the community provides the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young.  These habitats help to create new corridors for wildlife to thrive.

NWF communities also do outreach to educate residents about sustainable gardening practices such as reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water, planting native plants and trees, composting and more.  The community hosts workshops about gardening for wildlife and holds community events such as stream clean-ups and invasive species removal to make the community healthier for people and wildlife alike.  Local citizens become knowledgeable advocates for wildlife and sustainability.

Ready to Sign Up?

Apply Today!

Interested, but want a consult? Tell us more about your community. A NWF staff member will contact you within 5 business days.

You may wish to download the application questions to prepare for submitting your application online.

How do they do it? Find other Certified or Registered Communities near you.


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Interested in the NWF Community Wildlife Habitat Program? Tell us a little more about your community. A NWF staff member will be in contact with you within 5 business days.