Frequently Asked Questions About NWF's Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professionals Program

Looking for answers before you get started? Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and their answers.

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Who can become a Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professional?

The certification program is open to all working professionals working in the landscaping field. You can either be self-employed or working for a larger firm. The training is tailored to the landscape designer and contractors within the field, but any working professionals may apply to participate.

What does it mean to become a Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professional?

According to USFWS Surveys, Gardener Supply and National Gardening Association Survey, a growing share of "green" minded consumers are looking for businesses who are friendly to the environment and wildlife.

The designation of Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professional gives business owners an advantage of marketing credentials to set them apart from their competition as a wildlife and ecosystem oriented company.

To become certified, landscaping professionals complete 18-20 hours of online training that includes curriculum about how to incorporate wildlife habitat elements, native plants and more. Professionals must also show that they know how to design a habitat that improves the larger ecosystem, benefits wildlife and enhances their client’s experience with nature.

How many clients might I have access to through the network?

National Wildlife Federation has more than 170,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat® sites across the country, and every day thousands of people interact with National Wildlife Federation's web content to learn how to transform their landscapes into becoming more wildlife friendly.

Through the online search referral system, Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professionals will be highlighted with their own profile page with recommendations from their clients. Additionally, you will be promoted as a resource through our schools, college/university and business networks.

How will this help my business?

In today’s competitive market field, NWF's Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professional™ program provides you with a business edge in a growing market of consumers seeking to be “greener” in the landscaping practices. This program provides you with the backing of a national and international renowned and recognized brand in the field of wildlife gardening and wildlife-friendly practices, the National Wildlife Federation® and our Certified Wildlife Habitat® program.

Is there a cost to become certified?

The fee to participate for the first year is $150. This fee supports the program, as well as the overall mission of National Wildlife Federation and our work to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

What training is required?

The program has an online, self-paced training course as part of the certification process for professionals. The training is comprised of seven modules and a final test with essay. The course will take between 18-20 hours to complete, but some professional can complete within 6-10 hours based on experience with subject manner. The course becomes available after landscaping professionals register, fill out their application and pay the participation fee.

What benefits do I receive as a certified professional?

Once a landscaping professional becomes certified, National Wildlife Federation will provide a series of marketing resources, web and print badges to use for the year, access to advanced training courses, the ability to update a public profile page on NWF's website, and much more. This may also include featuring on NWF's website, email and social media.

How do I find out if there is a Certified Wildlife Landscaping professional in my area?

National Wildlife Federation has a searchable database by state that you can use to find professionals in your area. The list will provide you with profiles, contact information and comments from clients about the business.

Can I leave a comment on a certified professional's profile page?

If you have experience working with one of NWF's Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professionals, you are welcome to leave a rating and comment on their public profile page. NWF staff withholds the right to remove any comment deemed inappropriate. 

How long is this certification valid for?

The certification application and fee is valid for one year, at which point, landscaping professionals can renew for $200 per year. NWF will make spot checks on their work over the last year to ensure they are demonstrating the standards of the program.

What is NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitat® program?

For 40 years, National Wildlife Federation has been certifying homes, schools, businesses, parks, places of worship and communities who have demonstrated that their landscape is wildlife-friendly and providing the necessary element to help support and sustain wildlife populations in their community.

Each site must demonstrate they have the four essential elements needed for all wildlife: food source (including native plants), water source (such as butterfly puddling areas, stream or bird baths), cover (shrubs, trees, toad abodes or other items to “hide”) and places to raise young (including bird nesting boxes, bat houses, shrubs or rock piles).

The Certified Wildlife Landscaping Professionals™ program will equip professionals with the ability to help their customers design a landscape perfectly qualified to become an NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat®.