NWF News: A Garden for Wildlife Milestone & Arizona Wildlife Federation

The latest from the National Wildlife Federation & affiliates: Garden for Wildlife hits 300,000; AWF turns 100; what to read, watch, listen to from the NWF team

  • By Delaney McPherson
  • Conservation
  • Mar 28, 2024

A Century of Conservation

In 2023, the Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF)—a National Wildlife Federation affiliate—celebrated its 100th anniversary with an instrumental role in the designation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni–Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. The move protected nearly 1 million acres of land and provided access to the mule deer that migrate through the area.

“Looking forward, we’re broadening our outreach,” says AWF Executive Director Scott Garlid. “There’s a cycle to getting people involved. Once someone is comfortable in the outdoors, they bring that back to their community.”

An image of a person holding a snake.

To meet that goal, the group is working to make the outdoors accessible to everyone. With events tailored to kids and programs such as Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW), AWF aims to reach youth, women and members of historically underserved communities. AWF is now working with partners in Colorado and the Navajo Nation to adapt its Bridges to BOW program, which is designed for young women in their 20s.

Other efforts involve organizing on-the-ground projects to make public lands safe for all people and wildlife, from regular trail maintenance to removing unnecessary fences that restrict the movement of species including pronghorn (top).

“We want to show people that not only are the outdoors fun, but we also have a responsibility as stewards to take care of it,” Garlid says.

An image of David Mizejewski holding a monitor lizard.

What to Read, Watch and Listen to This Spring

Want to learn more about conservation, wildlife and the outdoors? Catch up on the latest batch of content from or featuring NWF and its staff members—once you’ve finished reading this issue of your favorite magazine, of course.

THE FEMINIST BIRD CLUB’S BIRDING FOR A BETTER WORLD, by Molly Adams, FBC founder, and Sydney Golden Anderson, NWF senior community habitat coordinator, takes readers on a joyful, inclusive exploration of birding. The book features original illustrations, journaling prompts, meditations on environmental justice and more. (See "Female Birds Finally Get Their Due" for more on birds and inclusivity.) Available through all major booksellers.

“FIELD GUIDE TO NORTH AMERICAN WILDLIFE,” a 12-part online lecture series from the e-learning platform Wondrium, features NWF Naturalist David Mizejewski (pictured above with a nonnative monitor lizard) as host. In each episode, Mizejewski introduces viewers to a different unique and iconic North American species—from the javelina to the horseshoe crab—and dives deep into their behaviors, their ranges and their roles in the ecosystems.

“ARTEMIS PODCAST,” hosted by NWF Artemis Program Manager Carlee Koutnik, follows accomplished sportswomen who are redefining conservation through their lives in the field and on the water. The podcast features interviews with women from all walks of the sporting community and covers all things hunting, fishing, public lands and conservation. Listen online and on all major podcast platforms.

“NWF OUTDOORS PODCAST,” hosted by NWF Director of Sporting Advocacy Aaron Kindle and Sportsmen Outreach Coordinator Bill Cooksey, dives into topics concerning the sporting community, from public lands access and policy to hunting and angling tips. Find the podcast on Apple and all other major platforms.

“DEAR TAMPA BAY,” a short documentary presented by NWF and part of a research effort funded by the National Academies of Sciences, highlights climate change impacts on the Gulf Coast. The film explores sea-level rise, extreme weather and how communities are adapting and finding a way forward. Learn more and watch the documentary.

“HOMECOMING,” a short documentary directed and produced by Julianna Brannum as a companion to Ken Burns’ full-length film “The American Buffalo” for PBS, follows Jason Baldes, senior manager of NWF’s Tribal Buffalo program, as he coordinates the transfers of bison herds to Tribal reservations in Wyoming and Wisconsin. Watch “Homecoming” on PBS and stay tuned for more Baldes onscreen in the coming months.

Donor Spotlight: Marvin Ginsberg of Azalea, Oregon

WHY I GIVE  “I have a ranch in Colorado, and when I bought it, I took down all the fencing and barbed wire. We see all sorts of wildlife there, from bears to elk to wild turkeys. I try to do everything I can for wildlife. I think it’s genetic. I love wildlife, and my whole family is that way. We all just love animals.”

An image of a Certified Wildlife Habitat creation in Baltimore, Maryland.

Planting a Legacy

In the early spring of 2024, the NWF Garden for Wildlife™ program will surpass the historic milestone of 300,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats® (CWH) designated across the country. Each CWH (below, in North Carolina) provides wildlife with food, water, cover and places to raise their young, with its stewards following sustainable practices.

“NWF’s native plant habitat network includes certified sites along with hundreds of other installations that expand individual efforts with community impact,” says Mary Phillips, head of Native Plant Habitat Strategy & Certifications. “We’re helping change behavior with on-the-ground projects to increase biodiversity, with a recommended 50 to 70 percent minimum of native plants per site.”

An image of Pinehurst village arboretum native pollinator garden.

Twenty-seven NWF affiliates employ dedicated staff to promote Garden for Wildlife in their states through habitat workshops, local native plant sales and support for CWH. Many of these affiliates also advocate for wildlife and native plant-friendly legislation at the state level.

Other programs played key roles in the 300,000 CWH benchmark, including Schoolyard Habitats®, Community Wildlife Habitats, Sacred Grounds, Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and corporate partners such as Wild Birds Unlimited® and Taylor Morrison. These programs create habitat in public spaces (top, in Baltimore, Maryland). More than 10,000 schools currently are certified through Schoolyard Habitats, and more than 300 communities are engaged through Community Wildlife Habitats.

Looking forward, NWF hopes to build on this momentum by certifying at least 15,000 new habitats a year. Learn more.

An image of a summer sunrise over Washington, D.C.

Bulletin: Annual Meeting

The National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting will be held this year in Washington, D.C., from June 26 to 29. Learn more about the gathering.

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

Why I Hunt »
Together With Faith Groups, Sacred Grounds Uplifts People & Habitats »
Catch Up on Previous NWF News »

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