The NWF Community Wildlife Habitat program provides an opportunity for counties, cities, towns, neighborhoods, homeowners’ associations and other communities to earn recognition from the National Wildlife Federation while taking concrete steps to restore, enhance and connect wildlife habitat. Our program framework and resource center supports communities as they are just getting started or are working to take their sustainability work to the next level. You can learn more about why communities sign up on the Case Studies Page of this website. Some specific reasons many communities join the NWF Community Wildlife Habitat program (beyond the desire to help wildlife!) are described below.
Your Sustainability Plan: Many municipalities are creating, revising and updating sustainability plans or master park plants and the majority do not focus on how to restore, enhance or connect habitat for wildlife. The Community Wildlife Habitat program is a proven program model that can help communities take significant action to help wildlife and connects to many conservation issues such as increasing tree canopy, conserving water, preventing polluted storm water runoff, reducing pesticide use, addressing invasive species issues and more
Engage the Public & Build Community: since the nwf community wildlife habitat program requires that individual citizens and a variety of other property owners certify their individual properties as nwf certified wildlife habitats, the program often opens the door for discussions about many of the related conservation issues list above. engaging community members in projects like creating a wildlife-friendly demonstration garden or conducting a workshop is also a great way to build community and get to know your neighbors. you may also recruit community members to volunteer to support larger events such as a restoration project or tree planting event.
Beautification: Creating habitat for wildlife with native wildflowers, trees and shrubs, adding water features such as ponds and streams, and welcoming wildlife like butterflies and birds enhances a community’s overall appearance
Recognition: Your community will receive national recognition from the National Wildlife Federation and be held up as a model community at the national level for your success transforming your community into a place where both people and wildlife can flourish.
Clean Air, Clean Water: Greening your community by adding more native plants, shrubs and trees, and reducing fertilizer and pesticide use has the potential to help improve water and air quality, creating a healthier environment for people and wildlife.
Connecting with Nature: At a time when children spend less time outdoors than at any other time in human history, gardening for wildlife in backyards, schoolyards, parks, and other areas provides more places and more frequent opportunities for people to connect with nature in their community.