List of Community Habitats
Celebrating our Certified Community Wildlife Habitat communities! 75 and growing.
NWF celebrates and recognizes the over 75 communities that have worked for over two years to achieve the national status – Certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Leaders among their peer communities, these communities have risen to the challenge to improve their community both for wildlife and their community’s overall health and well-being.
Click on the communities from your State who have achieved certification.
Are you ready to step up to the challenge and add your communities name to the ever-growing list of community leaders? Register Now.
Need help? Not sure where to begin?
or call 703-438-6000 (Ask for Community Wildlife habitat program)
Monte Sano, AL
Located at the east end of Huntsville, 6 miles southwest of Birmingham
The community of Monte Sano is named after the 1600 foot mountain on which it sits. Monte Sano is Spanish for “Mountain of Health”. Since the 1820s, people have been coming to Monte Sano for its clean air and pristine springs. The Monte Sano Hotel and a railway to get up the mountain were built in 1887; soldiers recuperating from diseases during the Spanish-American War were sent to Monte Sano. Of the 7434 acres that comprise Monte Sano, 2500 acres are in the Monte Sano State Park, 600 acres are managed by the Land Trust of Huntsville and 167 acres belong to the Burritt Museum. The Denizens of Monte Sano development includes approximately 600 homes and the Monte Sano Club.
- Certified: January, 2013
- Population: 4,000
- Located in southwest Arizona, north of Organ Pipe National Monument
Ajo is a former mining community surrounded by federal land, most of which is designated wilderness. In close proximity to town are the Organ Pipe National Monument, the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range (USAF) and the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation. Primary vegetation includes the palo verde, ironwood and velvet mesquite trees and saguaro and organ pipe cacti. Even though there is no surface water (except during torrential summer rains), the variety of native wildlife is impressive.
Sweetwater in the Foothills, AZ
- Certified: January, 2007
- Population: 950
- Located on the west side of the Tucson metropolitan area
Sweetwater in the Foothills is a master planned community whose organizing theme is to create a community that is harmonious with its natural upper Sonoran desert setting. It is laced with arroyos that provide drainage from the Tucson Mountains to the Santa Cruz River. The washes run infrequently, but provide critical habitat for resident birds, reptiles, rabbits, javelina, bobcats and coyotes. These riparian areas are all considered "common areas" in the community and have been retained in their natural state. Landscaping in the community is committed to low water usage and retaining the native desert plants. For more information, go to www.sweetwaterinthefoothillsCWH.org.
- Certified: May, 2012
- Population: 73,000
- Located in Washington County, in northwestern Arkansas
Fayetteville is the third largest city in Arkansas and is the county seat of Washington County. It is a progressive, green, outdoor-loving community and is home to the University of Arkansas. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville is best characterized by its extensive trail system, historic downtown square, farmers markets, arts, and “Keep Fayetteville Funky” advocates. Arkansas’ most extensive entertainment district is located on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. In 2009, Fayetteville received a Volunteer Community of the Year Award from the Arkansas Department of Human Services. In 2007, it was ranked eighth in Forbes Magazine’s Top 10 Best Places in America for Business and Careers.
- Certified: May, 1998
- Population: 10,000
- Located 20 miles east of San Diego
In this small hamlet in the rural foothills near San Diego, the Community Wildlife Habitat program began. A non-profit organization called CHIRP (Center to Help Instill Respect & Preservation) for Garden Wildlife, Inc. approached the National Wildlife Federation and asked if they could get their whole community certified. The "Sage & Songbirds" program was created and residents were encouraged to create gardens friendly to butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds. Every year, the first weekend of May, the Sage & Songbirds Festival is held in Alpine with garden tours, educational seminars and plant sales.
Chula Vista, CA
- Certified: April, 2011
- Population: 223,000
- Located: Just south of San Diego
Chula Vista is the second largest city in San Diego County. Located seven mile south of downtown San Diego and seven miles north of one of the world's busiest international border crossings, Chula Vista is at the crossroads of the region. From a scenic bay front that stretches along the coast to the communities and majestic San Miguel Mountain in the east, Chula Vista is known for its residential design and environmental innovation.
Scripps Ranch Estates, CA
- Certified: November, 2009
- Population: 800
- Located in the San Diego community of Scripps Ranch
Scripps Ranch Estates is a 200-acre, gated housing development that was built in the early 1980s. It is just north of the Miramar Marine Command Air Station. Some of the areas that are not developed are also not irrigated and are native chaparral and naturalized plantings. The community was hit hard by the Cedar Fire of October, 2003 and is still recovering from that event. Special concerns include invasive eucalyptus trees and non-native grasses.
Sonoma County, CA
- Certified: May, 2006
- Population: 466,000
- Located 90 minutes north of San Francisco
Sonoma County is a mostly rural county with nine incorporated towns and 62 small unincorporated areas. It is known for its agricultural produce and excellent wines. Sonoma County's well-known wine country has world-class wineries that are open to the public. The visitor can enjoy sweeping vineyard vistas as well as excellent lodging and restaurants. Sonoma County's project was led by the non-profit Celebration: Love Your Neighbor, Inc. (dba) Love Your Neighbor Public Charity, which also promotes organic farmers markets and holistic medicine.
- Certified: January, 2010
- Population: 15,120
- Located in eastern Connecticut, 23 miles southeast of Hartford
In 2005 Colchester, Connecticut, was named the 57th best place to live in America by Money Magazine. Through its history, Colchester has evolved from an agricultural community to one of early industry and now a rural/suburban community with several family-run farms, a thriving business district and a significant commuter population. Colchester has many natural resources including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, forests, wetlands, and open space. The project team is focused on activities and education to help people rediscover nature to ensure the ongoing quality of life and environment in their community.
- Certified: February, 2012
- Population: 18,000
- Located 25 miles east of Hartford
Willimantic is the downtown city area of the town of Windham in a part of Connecticut known as the “Quiet Corner." The community’s name comes from an Algonquian Indian term for “land of the swift running waters." In the 1800s, the rivers attracted textile factories, including The American Thread Company, which produced the first spool of thread ever made. The town’s historic heritage has been preserved in a Mill Museum, a Railroad Museum, numerous Victorian homes, a 1907 footbridge and many renovated mills. Willimantic is now the home to one of the four state universities and a community college. There is a strong sense of community, as shown by its many festivals and civic organizations, including the Garden Club of Windham, a sponsor of the Community Wildlife Habitat project.
- Certified: April, 2010
- Population: 1500
- Located in New Castle county, in northern Delaware
Established in 1885, Townsend is a small, historic community that was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986. The town is surrounded by picturesque farmland and protected wetlands that support an abundance of native plants and native wildlife. The Townsend Community Wildlife Habitat project is supported in part by NWF's state affiliate, the Delaware Nature Society.
Broward County, FL
- Certified: September, 2005
- Population: 1,723,000
- Located in southeast Florida, along the Atlantic coast
Broward County stretches from the Everglades in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Their motto is "From Sawgrass to Seagrass." NatureScape Broward is a program of the county's Water Resources Division. They encourage residents to create "Florida-friendly landscapes that conserve water, protect water quality and create wildlife habitat." Although two thirds of the county remains as unpopulated Everglades, the county is committed to restoring the ecological integrity of the urban corridor as well. Broward County tied with Arlington County to be the first two counties in the nation certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat.
Coconut Creek, FL
- Certified: July, 2005
- Population: 48,000
- Located in Broward County, 20 minutes northwest of Ft. Lauderdale
Coconut Creek is a rapidly growing suburb of Ft. Lauderdale with 16% of its acreage set aside as parks or other natural areas. The city is the Butterfly Capital of the Worldâ„¢, and is home to Butterfly World, the world's largest butterfly aviary. Butterfly gardens have been planted at the town hall, in town parks and at several schools in the city. Annual events include the Butterfly Festival, the 5K Butterfly Run, the Arbor Day Tree and Butterfly Plant Give Away and the Butterfly Parade. Even the new high school is named Monarch High.
- Certified: May 2013
- Population: 96,000
- Located 7 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale
The town of Davie began as a small farm community at the edge of the Everglades, and it still consists of both residential and agricultural areas. Davie has a large horse-owning population and has still has a “Western” feel to it. In earlier years, cattle ranching was common, but much of the land has converted to residential or commercial zoning. Davie has many equestrian and recreational trails, as well as canals. The town is also hub for higher education and is home to five different colleges and universities.
Lighthouse Point, FL
- Certified: September, 2008
- Population: 11,000
- Located 15 miles north of Fort Lauderdale
The City of Lighthouse Point, Florida is named for the famous Hillsboro Lighthouse, which has stood guard over Hillsboro Inlet since 1906. The City is characterized by informal affluence and a leisurely pace, tree-shaded streets and water-laced residential areas. The Intracoastal Waterway forms the eastern boundary of the city and Federal Highway (Rte. 1) the western boundary. Approximately 20 acres of parks have been set aside along with 13 miles of walking and bicycling paths.
Melbourne Beach, FL
- Certified: October, 2010
- Population: 3,300
- Located in Brevard County, south of the Kennedy Space Center
Established in 1883, Melbourne Beach is Brevard County's oldest beach community. It was incorporated as a town in 1923. The town has a total area of 1.3 square miles and it lies on a barrier island with the Indian River lagoon to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Despite its ideal location, Melbourne Beach is still largely residential. Members of the town's Environmental Advisory Board are on the Community Wildlife Habitat team, as is the town's mayor, a former biology professor.
- Certified: April, 2009
- Population: 21,000
- Located northwest of Fort Lauderdale
Incorporated in 1963, the City of Parkland is committed to maintaining a "park-like" setting. Parkland is a residential community with limited commercial property. It includes agricultural and equestrian life styles typified by plant nurseries, ranches, conservation areas and open space. The majority of land in the city is zoned low density. Species of concern include bald eagles, wood storks, gopher tortoises and burrowing owls. The city is especially concerned about water conservation and growth management.
- Certified: October, 2007
- Population: 85,000
- Located 10 miles west of Fort Lauderdale
The City of Plantation is a thriving urban area with tree-lined streets, parks and a commitment to environmental stewardship. Their project is being led by the city's Department of Landscape Architecture. The department has a developed an urban forestry management plan that includes a huge initiative on public education, tree planting and annual events to celebrate the city's arboriculture. Even the city's logo is a rendition of a tree.
Pompano Beach, FL
- Certified: May, 2010
- Population: 101,000
- Located north of Fort Lauderdale and south of West Palm Beach
Pompano Beach is a beautiful beachfront city bordered on its full length by the Atlantic Ocean. Due to recurring hurricanes and water shortages, the area's vegetation is finally transitioning away from tropical exotics and more towards native plants, with the help of groups such as NatureScape Broward. Pompano Beach is the second oldest city in Broward County and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in July, 2008. The "Grow Wild!" team is hoping to be certified in concert with this event.
Wilton Manors, FL
- Certified: July, 2006
- Population: 12,600
- Located just north of Ft. Lauderdale, about 3 miles from the coast
The City of Wilton Manors is known as the "Island City," as it is surrounded by water, including the North and South Forks of the Middle River. The City is nearly one hundred percent build out and embraces the vision of a sustainable urban village. Wilton Manors has acquired 35 acres of park and open space with much of it on the Middle River and provides a canoe trail, mangrove preserve and two nature trails. A major focus of Wilton Manors' project is water quality and conservation. Endangered species in or near the city include manatees, wood storks, Florida grasshopper sparrows and snail kites.
- Certified: June, 2003
- Population: 2,000
- Located north of Atlanta, inside the I-285 perimeter
This project began as a collaboration of the Huntley Hills Neighborhood Association, the Georgia Wildlife Federation and the local Master Gardeners group. Huntley Hills is a neighborhood within Chamblee, characterized by older homes, lawns and mature oak and tulip trees, which were planted when the homes were built. By the time of certification, the project had spread to all of the City of Chamblee, and much of the outlying areas.
For more information, please go to www.chambleewildlifehabitat.com.
Johns Creek, GA
- Certified: April, 2012
- Population: 70,500
- Located 30 miles north of Atlanta
Johns Creek is a relatively new municipality that was created from unincorporated parts of northeastern Fulton County in 2006. The community is named for the body of water that runs through the city. John Creek borders the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area and is 20 miles from Lake Lanier, one of Georgia’s most popular recreational destinations. A family-oriented community that takes great pride in its schools, Johns Creek’s has 35% of its population under the age of 19. The team leader, who brought the community to certification, is a high school student. For more information, please go to www.johnscreekwildlifehabitat.org
- Certified: August, 2013
- Population: 33,000
- Located 33 miles northeast of Atlanta
Milton is a rural/suburban community incorporated in 2006 from the unincorporated part of northern Fulton County. In 2011, Milton was recognized as the community having the highest quality of life in the state of Georgia and the ninth highest in the Southeast by The Business Journals "On Numbers" quality-of-life survey. The city embraces small-town life and heritage while preserving its rural character. The Community Wildlife Habitat team is made up of city employees, community volunteers and representatives of Milton Grows Green, a citizen's committee that advocates "responsibly managed growth by conserving and protecting resources, while preserving Milton's heritage and natural landscape for future generations".
- Certified: March, 2013
- Population: 88,000
- Located 18 miles north of Atlanta
Located in Fulton County, Roswell is currently the 8th largest city in Georgia. Roswell was founded in the 1830s by wealthy settlers who found the land suitable for cotton farming. Also, the presence of Chattahoochee River allowed for the building of cotton mills. Part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area lies in Roswell. The Chattahoochee’s watershed is the smallest in the country that supplies a drinking water for a major metropolitan area. Conserving water and protecting its quality is one of Roswell’s biggest environmental concerns. Roswell’s Community Wildlife Habitat project is being led by the City of Roswell and Keep Roswell Beautiful (an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful), with additional support from local garden clubs and the Chattahoochee Nature Center.
Hidden Springs, ID
- Certified: January, 2005
- Population: 1,000
- Located 10 miles northwest of downtown Boise
Hidden Springs is a master-planned community, almost half of which will remain as open space. The community has a village green, 10-acre fruit orchard, 145-year-old farmstead with a 5-acre organic farm, native plant demonstration garden and a wastewater treatment facility that uses reclaimed water for irrigation purposes. The dominant ecosystem is semi-arid sagebrush/grassland. Members of Hidden Springs' Open Space Council and the Town Association led the efforts for certification.
The Galena Territory, IL
- Certified: August, 2010
- Population: 1,022
- Located in Jo Daviess County, in northwest Illinois
The Galena Territory is a 6800-acre planned residential/resort community eight miles east of the county seat of Galena. The "Territory" includes 1750 acres of common property, known as Greenspace, and it includes a 228-acre impounded lake, 40 miles of trails and habitat for wildlife. The Galena Territory Association is the only property owners' association in Illinois that has a full-time employee and budget dedicated solely to manage the Greenspace for the benefit of wildlife and residents. This employee and community residents comprise the Community Wildlife Habitat team.
- Certified: July, 2008
- Population: 70,000
- Located in south-central Indiana, 45 miles south of Indianapolis
The city of Bloomington lies in Monroe County, home to the Hoosier National Forest and the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. The forests are comprised of Mesic hardwoods and all of the lakes are man-made. Bloomington's project is being led by the Center for Sustainable Living, a non-profit group that is concerned with the human ecological footprint. Their goal is to educate the people of Bloomington and create a more biologically diverse, healthy and sustainable city. For more information, go to www.simplycsl.org.
- Certified: September, 2000
- Population: 13,000
- Located northwest of Indianapolis
The greater Zionsville community consists of Eagle Township and Union Township, which together form the Eagle-Union School Corporation. The project was led by a group called Habitat Creation, Preservation and Restoration, otherwise known as Habitat CPR. Their goal was to encourage residents to restore wildlife habitats throughout the two townships. At the time Zionsville was certified, the community had 83 certified backyards, 3 schools, and 8 workplaces and municipal areas, including the local Chamber of Commerce.
- Certified: July, 2006
- Population: 3,750
- Located 30 miles north of Wichita
Hesston has the peace and quiet of a small community with the convenience of a large city nearby. Historically, the dominant ecosystem was tall-grass prairie, but now Hesston has mostly mixed deciduous forest and the surrounding area is predominantly tilled cropland. Hesston's project was initiated by the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, a 13-acre public garden celebrating native plants of Kansas. Endangered species include the eskimo curlew, whooping cranes, least terns and Topeka shiners. For more information, go to www.cs.hesston.edu/ppg.
- Certified: December, 2005
- Population: 26,000
- Located south of Boston, along the Neponset River
Milton is a suburban community that borders the city of Boston. A large part of the town (40%) is taken up by the Blue Hills State Park, which includes a ski area and the Big Blue Hill, an important meteorological observatory. Recently, the Neponset River Greenway was constructed and it consists of a bike/walking path along the river. The community's project was led by Milton Outdoor Classrooms, a group whose goal is to create outdoor classrooms at all Milton Public Schools. Their anchor project was the Glover Elementary Outdoor Classroom. For more information, go to www.miltonoutdoorclassrooms.com/.
- Certified: August, 2013
- Population: 38,000
- Located 29 miles east of Washington, D.C.
The City of Annapolis is the capital of Maryland and the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It is home to the US Naval Academy and St. John’s College. The city is a beautiful waterfront community nestled between the Severn and South Rivers, two major tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay. Abundant wetlands provide unique habitat for both land and aquatic animals. Annapolis lies on the Atlantic Coastal Plain and is quite flat, with the highest ground being only fifty feet above sea level. The city has the second highest Urban Tree Canopy cover in Maryland. Annapolis is also the home of NWF’s Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic Regional Center.
- Certified: September, 2013
- Population: 4,300
- Located 35 miles southeast of Baltimore
The Town of Centreville is the county seat of Queen Anne's County. It is located in the center of Queen Anne's County and Maryland's rural Eastern Shore, hence the name Centreville. The town has experienced dramatic population growth, more than doubling its population in the last decade. For this reason, the town has created a Community Plan and Watershed Restoration Action Strategy, which has received accolades. Initiatives like riparian reforestation and living shoreline projects serve to address water quality challenges of this Chesapeake Bay communityp>
Takoma Park, MD
- Certified: March 2011
- Population: 17,891
- Located just northeast of Washington, D.C.
Takoma Park was founded in 1883 and has a large number of old homes and mature trees. The population is very diverse in age, ethnicity and economic condition and includes many professionals, artists, musicians and writers. Takoma Park has been a 'Tree City' since 1984 and has many progressive environmental programs, led by groups such as the Friends of Sligo Creek, the Takom Park Horticulture Club and the Takoma Park Committee on the Environment.
- Certified: October, 2006
- Population: 6,000
- Located in the heart of Western Michigan, between Lansing and Grand Rapids
Belding is a quiet, rural town on the banks of the Flat River. Belding used to be known as the Silk City in the early 1900s and in 1925, the Belding Bros. & Co. mill produced 95% of the silk thread in the U.S. Belding and the surrounding area have a rich natural character, contributing to the small town appeal. There are relatively undisturbed areas throughout the city, the Flat River and its adjoining woodlands. The project team plans to improve habitat along selected stretches of the river. The non-profit Silk City Nature Association was created to carry out the work of the certification project.
- Certified: January, 2005
- Population: 47,000
- Located 25 minutes west of downtown St. Louis
A suburb of St. Louis, Chesterfield is filled with people who are passionate about wildlife, native plants and a healthy environment. The habitat team's anchor project was to establish a native tallgrass prairie on the site of the homestead of former Missouri Governor Bates at Faust County Park. This site was later designated the state's first "Grow Native" demonstration garden. Chesterfield now has native flora in its road medians, native landscaping at City Hall and a butterfly garden at Central Park. The city hosts a Tree, Earth and Arbor Day celebration every April.
High Bridge, NJ
- Certified: August, 2013
- Population: 3,800
- Located in northern Hunterdon County, in western New Jersey
High Bridge is a quintessentially American small town conveniently situated midway between New York City and Philadelphia. It was named for a 112 foot high, 1,300 foot long bridge built by the Central Railroad Company across the South Branch of the Raritan River. High Bridge operates under a Borough form of government. The Environmental Commission, with full support of the Borough Council, is leading High Bridge's Habitat project.
- Certified: March, 2010
- Population: 38,658
- Located in northeastern New Jersey, twelve miles west of New York City
Montclair is an older suburb of NYC, having experienced its greatest growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when its development was stimulated by easy train access to New York. This early pattern of development influences Montclair to this day and it has six train stations offering easy commuter access to New York and several local shopping districts. Parks cover 278 acres in town and there are over 17,000 shade trees in the town. Montclair is well-known locally for its Victorian homes, rich cultural life and racial and economic diversity. For more information, go to www.montclairwildlife.com.
Lake Norman, NC
- Certified: August, 2011
- Population: 118,000
- Located in western North Carolina in Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties
The Lake Norman community consists of the towns of Mooresville, Huntersville, Troutman, Denver, Cornelius, Terrell and Sherrills Ford, all of which surround the lake. Lake Norman was created in 1963 by Duke Energy. Fed by the Catawba River, it is 34 miles long and is sometimes referred to as the “inland sea of North Carolina”. It has over 520 miles of shoreline and over one thousand islands of various sizes. The lake offers abundant fresh water fishing and hosts national fishing tournaments. The project has been named “Wild over LKN!” and it is sponsored by the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. For more information, go to www.lakenormanwildlife.org.
- Certified: November, 2012
- Population: 28,634
- Located 10 miles southeast of Charlotte
The Town of Matthews is the largest of metropolitan Charlotte’s suburban communities. The Town’s growth policies have reduced the dependency on automobiles, making the community very pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. Policies on tree preservation, landscaped parking areas and vegetated buffer strips adjoining stream channels and roadsides have help to reduce run-off. A 2008 Tree Ordinance prevents developers from clear-cutting construction sites and calls for the use of native plants in landscaping. The “Matthews Naturally” project is a partnership with the Community Wildlife Habitat team, North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s HAWK chapter and the Mecklenburg County Audubon.
- Certified: January, 2005
- Population: 631 year-round residents, 4,500 during summer conferences
- Located 25 miles northeast of downtown Asheville
Montreat is a beautiful mountain village surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is filled with gurgling streams, abundant native flora and fauna and gorgeous mountain vistas. It is bordered by the Pisgah National Forest and the Asheville Watershed Natural Area. Originally founded as a spiritual mountain retreat, Montreat is home to the Montreat Conference Center (owned by the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) and Montreat College, a four-year Christian liberal arts college. An incorporated town since 1967, Montreat contains no commercial development.
- Certified: September, 2009
- Population: 2,840
- Located 10 miles north of Asheville
Weaverville is a small town with a large community spirit. It is situated about 2,300 feet above sea level in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The local economy is dominated by small-scale commercial and mercantile pursuits, as well as light industry, and an increasingly vibrant arts community. As the economic center of north Buncombe County, the town is a hub of commercial and real estate activity. For more information, go to www.myweaverville.com/weavervillewildlifehabitat/.
- Certified: October 2013
- Population: 6000
- Located 18 miles northwest of Oklahoma City
Known as “The City of Open Spaces and Friendly Faces”, Piedmont has ranked among the fastest growing cities in Oklahoma, but it wasn’t always that way. Although Piedmont was incorporated before Oklahoma became a state, its population was less than 300 until the 1950’s. Piedmont is in the Central Plains eco-region, which is a transition area between the once prairie (now winter wheat-growing) region to the west and the forested low mountains to the east
- Certified: June, 2010
- Population: 40,500
- Located 13 miles northwest of Columbus
The City of Dublin has a long-standing tradition of conserving and embracing its natural resources. To date, they have dedicated nearly 1300 acres to parkland and open space. In addition, the city has one of the strongest tree ordinances in the country. The Scioto River, which runs north-south through the city, is a vital neo-tropical bird migration corridor, and this has been the impetus for many preservation efforts. City of Dublin Parks and Open Spaces staff members are leading the Community Wildlife Habitat project.
- Certified: July, 2012
- Population: 72,500
- Located 46 miles northwest of Philadelphia
Bethlehem, also sometimes known as the Christmas City, was founded by Moravians on Christmas Eve, 1741. The city lies in the center of the Lehigh Valley and is the sixth largest city in Pennsylvania. It has a rich industrial history and is in a region rich in natural resources. In 2006, Money magazine listed Bethlehem among the top 100 best places to live. Members of the city's Environmental Advisory Council serve on the Community Wildlife Habitat team.
- Certified: May, 2011
- Population: 4,114
- Located 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia
Hamburg is a small historic town, noted for its beautiful Victorian architecture. Located in the northern Berks County, it is known as the crossroads of Northern Berks. It is bordered on the north by the beautiful Blue Mountains (crossed by the Appalachian Trail) and to the west by the Schuylkill River. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a famous location for viewing seasonal migration of raptors, is only ten miles away.
Haycock Township, PA
- Certified: October, 2012
- Population: 2,250
- Located 45 miles northwest of Philadelphia
Haycock Township is a rural township in northwestern Bucks County. Almost 50% of the land in the township is preserved. This includes 2010 acres of state game lands (including Haycock Mountain), Lake Nockamixon State Park and Lake County Park, as well as newly acquired agricultural easements. The Community Wildlife Habitat team consists of a strong mix of highly educated and concerned residents. The decline of the local bat and bee populations is of special concern in the township.
Briarcliffe Acres, SC
- Certified: October, 2006
- Population: 500
- Located between the towns of Myrtle Beach and N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The Town of Briarcliffe Acres is a small township on the Atlantic coast. Although originally planned as a retirement community, it has instead developed into a diverse community of all ages, races and religions. There are 240 homes on large, wooded lots, four common areas, a beach dunes walkover and a small park on one of the lakes. Briarcliffe Acres is rich in natural beauty. The beach area includes 3,500 feet of undeveloped shoreline and a marsh. Alligators, foxes, raccoons, opossum, deer and many varieties of birds inhabit the woodlands.
Callawassie Island, SC
- Certified: February, 2006
- Population: 800
- Located off the South Carolina coast, just north of Savannah, Georgia
Callawassie Island is part of South Carolina's Low Country. It is a sea island, protected from the Atlantic by the larger barrier island, Hilton Head Island. Callawassie Island is a gated community, surrounded by marshes teeming with shorebirds. Inland lagoons are inhabited by American alligators, bald eagles nest in residents' trees and wood storks can be seen on the golf course. The island's Ecology Committee led the efforts for certification and is responsible for many educational and community-wide efforts on behalf of wildlife.
Fripp Island, SC
- Certified: May 2013
- Population: 850
- Located 60 miles south of Charleston
Fripp Island is a barrier island in South Carolina's Low Country. With its three miles of beachfront and abundant salt marshes and maritime forests, the island provides habitat for American alligators, fish, deer, raccoons and over 80 species of birds, including bald eagles. It was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1974 by the state legislature and was identified as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society in 2010. Fripp Island has a host of conservation programs to protect wildlife as well as a robust agenda of educational programs for both residents and visitors.
Kiawah Island, SC
- Certified: September, 2008
- Population: 4,000
- Located off the South Carolina coast, 22 miles south of Charleston
Kiawah Island is a barrier island in South Carolina's Low Country. It has 10 miles of beachfront, maritime forests and fresh and saltwater wetlands. The population of the island is growing rapidly and the Kiawah Island Community Association is concerned about dwindling wildlife habitat. The Land and Lakes Management Department has already put certain standards in place in order to protect the water quality and the remaining habitat.
South Woodlawn, TN
- Certified: November 2013
- Population: 1,200
- Located in South Knoxville
South Woodlawn Neighborhood is one of the many neighborhoods that comprise Knoxville, Tennessee. It was a sweet potato farm until the post-World War II era, when it became suburbanized. Most of the homes were built during this time, so there are still plenty of mature trees and brush. Wildlife flourishes in the open, undeveloped areas. The neighborhood is largely residential, with only a few businesses and one school. For more information, go to http://www.swna-knox.org/wildlife-habitat-community.
- Certified: November 2008
- Population: 735,000
- Located in Central Texas Hill Country, in Travis County
Austin was chartered in 1839 as the capital of the Republic of Texas, and became the state capital when Texas was admitted to the Union in 1846. It is the fourth largest city in Texas and the sixteenth most populous city in the US. The Community Wildlife Habitat project is being led by the City of Austin, which has named it Wildlife Austin! The project is part of the city's Climate Protection Initiative.
Whitewater Springs, TX
- Certified: April, 2011
- Population: 122
- Located approximately 45 miles northwest of Austin
Whitewater Springs was developed in 2001 in the Texas Hill Country. It borders the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and also several large ranches. The terrain of the community is hilly with deep ravines. There is a spring-fed, 16-acre lake and a running creek. A cave in the community is home to a large bat colony. Only 56 homes in the community are now occupied and the residents who are member of the Community Wildlife Habitat team would like to educate incoming residents about preserving the abundant wildlife in the community.
Arlington County, VA
- Certified: September, 2005
- Population: 189,000
- Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Although perhaps best known to visitors as the home of the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery, Arlington has maintained high quality residential neighborhoods, while supporting continued managed growth. Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment led the efforts for Arlington's certification. The group sponsored an 8-month-long contest between Arlington's neighborhoods. The neighborhood that had the most certifications won a dinner for 30 at a popular Lebanese restaurant.
For more information, please go to www.arlingtonenvironment.org/programs/wildlifehabitat/index.htm
- Certified: February, 2008
- Population: Between 5,000 and 10,000
- Located in Loudoun County, west of Washington, D.C.
Broadlands is a 1,500-acre master-planned community that combines modern living and active lifestyles within a natural environment. The community is built along Stream Valley Park, a linear park system that runs throughout Broadlands. Numerous trails, wetlands, woodlands and parks are found throughout the community. The Broadlands Homeowners Association sponsors nature-related activities for adults and children, based out of the community's Nature Center.
Fairfax County, VA
- Certified: February 2011
- Population: 1,056,000
- Located 12 miles west of Washington, D.C.
Fairfax County is a large, diverse county in northern Virginia with a budget larger than four states. It has the twelfth largest school system in the country and is home to George Mason University, Marymount University and Northern Virginia Community College. With nearly 400 parks, the Fairfax County Park Authority cares for 9% of the county land, which comprises over 23,500 acres. The Community Wildlife Habitat team consists of Fairfax County Park Authority staff, a member of the county Board of Supervisors, the director of the Fairfax County Park Foundation, as well as members of the “Friends” groups of various nature centers in the county.
Great Falls, VA
- Certified: April, 2007
- Population: 17,000
- Located 20 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.
Great Falls is an unincorporated community in Fairfax County. Thirty years ago it was a rural area with dairy farms, many of which eventually gave way to horse farms. It still maintains its low-density zoning and is known as an affluent bedroom community of Washington, D.C. with over 2,000 acres of park land. A national park of the same name lies within the boundaries of the community affording fabulous views of the Great Falls of the Potomac.
Greater Mason District, VA
- Certified: July, 2010
- Population: 267,776
- Located in Fairfax County, 10 miles west of Washington, D.C.
This project is being led by the Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center, a non-profit group associated with a county nature center. The Mason District is one of several districts within Fairfax County, Virginia. It is a relatively urban community, with an ethnically diverse population. A recent trend has been for small single-family homes to be replaced with mini-mansions, reducing backyards and mature trees. Green space in the district has declined significantly in the last 20 years, while there has been a dramatic increase in impervious surfaces.
- Certified: December, 2000
- Population: 65,000
- Located in Fairfax County, west of Washington, D.C.
Although Reston is the home of the National Wildlife Federation headquarters, their certification was achieved before NWF moved its offices to Reston in 2001. Reston was built as a planned community in the 1970s with homes organized into clusters and surrounded by open space. The certification project was led by the Reston Association, the second largest homeowners association in the country. In addition to NWF Community Wildlife Habitat certification, Reston has received the Green Community Award, the Tree City Award and their nature center has been declared an urban wildlife sanctuary by the Institute for Urban Wildlife.
South Riding, VA
- Certified: June, 2004
- Population: 5,400 in 1999 (at Registration); 19,000 at completion
- Located in southeast Loudoun county, in northern Virginia
South Riding is a large-scale master-planned development, consisting of single-family detached homes, town homes, condominiums and apartments. The community also has two elementary schools, a high school, a golf course, churches and several businesses. The community's natural resources include ponds, lakes, streams, wetlands, deciduous forests, large cedar hedgerows and meadows. During development efforts were made to keep or transplant existing trees with a diameter greater than 16". Educational programs were regularly given to residents to teach about providing habitat and preserving wetlands.
- Certified: December 2008
- Population: 12,815
- Located 5 miles west of downtown Seattle on Puget Sound
Alki is the historical "birthplace" of Seattle. Today, it is a diverse, highly urbanized community. It is on the northern tip of the West Seattle peninsula, and is a favorite tourist destination offering sweeping views of the Seattle skyline and Elliott Bay to the east, and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Schmitz Preserve Park contains the last old-growth forest in the immediate Puget Sound region. The Duwamish River, part of which runs through Alki, is a federal Supefund site, because of severe contamination.
Bainbridge Island, WA
- Certified: April, 2010
- Population: 22,600
- Located in Puget Sound, west of Seattle
Only a ferry ride away from Seattle, Bainbridge Island has retained its rural character. It is noted for its natural beauty, abundance of wildlife, preserved open space, walking trails and narrow two-lane roads. The forested areas are mostly second-growth, with small areas of old growth. Also, much of the island is still farmed. There is a small-town atmosphere on the island, with a high level of community involvement. For more information, please go to www.westsoundwildlife.org.
- Certified: March, 2010
- Population: 72,000
- Located in northwestern Washington, 90 miles north of Seattle
Bellingham is a small city located on Puget Sound and the county seat of Whatcom County. It has an active port, which supports fishing, shipping and other industry. The citizens of Bellingham have a strong interest in their parks and green spaces, voting three times to tax themselves to purchase land for this purpose. East of Bellingham are the North Cascades Mountains, including volcanic Mt. Baker. Species of concern include chinook and coho Salmon, western pond turtles and marbled murrelets. Check out the City of Bellingham Landscaping for Wildlife web page for a brief history of Bellhingham's certification and local resources on how to certify your yard, schoolyard or business landscaping.
Camano Island, WA
- Certified: April, 2005
- Population: 13,347
- Located in Puget Sound, about 60 miles north of Seattle
As an island in Puget Sound, Camano Island affords breathtaking views of the surrounding waterways, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. It is a year-round home to commuters and retirees alike, as well a summer home to "snowbirds." The dominant ecosystem is upland coniferous forest. The habitat team certified both of the island's state parks and several of its nature preserves. Although 175 certification points were required, the habitat team insisted on sticking with their original goal of 500 certifications, which they achieved in time for the ceremony. For more information, visit www.camanowildlifehabitat.org.
- Certified: April, 2010
- Population: 40,560
- Located on the shore of Puget Sound, 15 miles north of Seattle
Edmonds is a picturesque seaside community with views of Puget Sound and both the Olympic and Cascade Ranges. The waterfront is a transportation corridor, with railroad and ferry service. The City of Edmonds established an underwater scuba-diving park that is a protected marine sanctuary. In addition, a 23-acre brackish marsh is a wildlife sanctuary. Edmonds has a city ordinance that restricts cats; cats are not allowed to roam freely in the city limits. For more information, visit www.edmondsbackyardwildlifehabitat.org.
Fidalgo Island/Anacortes, WA
- Certified: June, 2008
- Population: 21,000
- Located 80 miles north of Seattle in the western region of Skagit County
The Fidalgo Island/Anacortes community is comprised of three areas: rural Fidalgo in the south, the City of Anacortes in the north and the Swinomish tribal lands in the east. Fidalgo Island has numerous lakes, wetlands and streams; 1,300 foot Mt. Erie; more than 40 miles of saltwater coastline; and many state, county and city parks. Deception Pass State Park alone is 1,170 acres and there are 2,800 acres of Anacortes Community Forest Lands. Most of the parklands are dense coniferous forests. Species of concern include chinook and coho salmon, bald eagles, goldeneye buffleheads and wood ducks.
- Certified: September, 2009
- Population: 75, 000
- Located 8 miles northeast of Seattle
Kirkland is located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington. Its downtown area is located right on the waterfront and includes shops, art galleries and restaurants, as well as public beaches and a performing arts center. Warehouse chain Costco originally had its headquarters in Kirkland, which led to the Kirkland Signature store brand. The Community Wildlife Habitat project includes the entire city of Kirkland, as well as an area called the Proposed Annexation Area, which has Kirkland mailing addresses, and which the city hopes to annex.
Lake Forest Park, WA
- Certified: December, 2006
- Population: 12,770
- Suburb of Seattle located on the north shore of Lake Washington
Lake Forest Park is a suburban community best characterized by its name. Nicknamed "the Park" by lifetime residents, Lake Forest Park incorporates an intricate network of streams and wetlands which flow into Lake Washington. The town has a lush green canopy including impressive stands of second growth conifers. Established trees are protected in the city ordinance code and healthy habitat is a community value. Threatened species include coho, chinook and sockeye salmon.
- Certified: November, 2011
- Population: 20,110
- Located on Puget Sound, 25 miles north of Seattle
Mukilteo is a waterfront community in southern Snohomish County and a regional transportation hub for the State Ferry System, Amtrak, the BNSF railroad and Sound Transit. The city is the home of the historic Mukilteo Light Station, located in a park. Other parks and trail systems provide recreation for city residents. The city’s community garden provides fresh produce for the Food Bank. Mukilteo’s dominant landscape features include steep ravines and shoreline bluffs. Homes are mostly located on the bluffs, whereas most of the city’s forested lands are located in the ravines.
- Certified: March 2011
- Population: 40,600
- Located 10 miles east of Seattle
Sammamish is a suburban community situated on the shores and hilly terrain east of Lake Sammamish. The natural environment includes approximately 10 miles of Lake Sammamish shoreline, wetlands, streams, two other lakes and several parks with many hiking trails. Wildlife seen in the community include black bears, bobcats, coyotes, black-tail deer, beavers, and numerous bird and fish species. The Community Wildlife Habitat team includes the City’s Volunteer Coordinator, two Parks Commissioners, two Washington Native Plant stewards, and an Eastside Audubon Society member.
- Certified: October 2010
- Population: 53,000
- Located 10 miles north of Seattle, on Puget Sound
Shoreline is a suburban community that incorporated to become a City in 1995. It has classic Puget Sound beauty along with proximity to Seattle and all it offers. Shoreline is a "land bridge" connecting Puget Sound to Lake Washington. It may be small, but it has diverse natural habitats that include marine shoreline and bluffs; peat bogs & streams; in addition to upland habitats & many native evergreen trees. The combination of diverse habitat and being on the Pacific Flyway affords the opportunity to see many different resident & migrating birds.
Skagit Valley, WA
- Certified: July, 2010
- Population: 42,000
- Located in Skagit County, 55 miles north of Seattle
The Skagit Valley community is based around the Skagit River, which originates in the North Cascades and empties into Puget Sound. The City of Mount Vernon, voted the "Best Small City in America" in 1998, is the principal town. The lower Skagit Valley is very productive agricultural land, while the lands to the west are mostly uninhabited forest land. This community abuts the Fidalgo Island/Anacortes Community Wildlife Habitat project and the hope is to create wildlife corridors on a more regional basis.
Surrey Downs, WA
- Certified: June 28, 2013
- Population: 800
- Located 5 miles east of downtown Seattle
Surrey Downs is a suburban community of 275 single-family homes, within Bellevue, WA, a city of 120,000 people in the Puget Sound region on the east side of Lake Washington. Located just south of Bellevue’s downtown urban core, it is within easy walking distance of shopping, restaurants, a regional library and art museum. The community borders Mercer Slough, a migration pathway for Chinook, Coho, and sockeye salmon, as well as cutthroat trout and steelhead. A number of homes have well-established large trees and shrubs that provide excellent habitat, but opportunity remains to increase wildlife cover in yards with more traditional gardening practices.
- Certified: May, 2002
- Population: 15,000
- Located 15 minutes south of downtown Seattle
Tukwila is found at the crossroads of two major interstate freeways. This convenient location has led to its being a center of commerce and industry, including the Boeing Company's Corporate Headquarters. It is a highly diverse cultural and ethnic community. The Community Wildlife Habitat project was sponsored by Tukwila Parks and Recreation. One hundred percent of Tukwila's schools were certified as well as numerous businesses.
Whidbey Island, WA
- Certified: December, 2011
- Population: 59,000
- Located in Puget Sound, 30 miles north of Seattle
Whidbey Island is approximately 55 miles long and is the largest island in Washington. It has 200 miles of shoreline and is comprised of gentle hills, forest and green valleys. Ebey's Landing National Historic Preserve protects the island's rare and sensitive plants. Numerous other state parks are on the island, including Deception Pass State Park, which offers views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains to the west and east. The project has already partnered with Whidbey Audubon and a local Boy Scout troop.