Reston, VA – The National Wildlife Federation is honoring the nation’s most wildlife-friendly cities as part of its 81st annual National Wildlife Week and Cincinnati, OH earned the number six spot on the list.
Wildlife in urban and suburban areas face tremendous stress as we chop down trees, plant yards, drain wetlands, install storm water systems, erect buildings and pave roads. Wildlife need our help to survive. In our “Top 10 Cities for Wildlife,” we recognize cities that are not only taking direct action to help wildlife, but their residents are also creating wildlife habitat in their backyards, balconies, at schools and throughout their communities.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Urban Wildlife Program ranked America’s 100 largest cities based on several important criteria for wildlife, including the amount of parkland within the city, participation in urban wildlife programs and citizen action measured by citizen participation in the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. Certified Wildlife Habitats™ are properties that provide all the necessary elements for wildlife to survive – food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young, while integrating sustainable gardening practices.
With more than 115,000 acres of protected green space and a variety of native habitats, Greater Cincinnati is home to an abundance of wildlife. According to Bill Hopple, Executive Director of Cincinnati Nature Center, “It is vital for people of our region to support wildlife by providing healthy and diverse native habitats, for the benefit of people as well as the wildlife. Since 2014, Cincinnati Nature Center’s Plant NATIVE! initiative has been helping to create awareness of this issue and continues to protect and increase native habitat.”
The City of Cincinnati is a newcomer to the list and has stampeded into the number six spot with their 587 Certified Wildlife Habitats, including seven Schoolyard Habitats. The Green Cincinnati Plan includes a goal to increase participation in outdoors recreation and nature awareness by 20%. Cincinnati is also home to the Cincinnati Nature Center as well as the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Both places play a key role in biodiversity conservation by educating the community on ways to preserve wildlife.
Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife and Certified Wildlife Habitat programs at NWF.org/Garden, about the Community Wildlife Habitat program at NWF.org/Community, about the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge at NWF.org/MayorsMonarchPledge, and the Schoolyard Habitat program at NWF.org/Schoolyard and visit our Media Center at NWF.org/News.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.