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 Seattle, WA earned the number seven 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.
“Seattle maintains over 6,400 acres of parklands, 2,500 of which are forested and undergoing intensive restoration efforts,” explained Seattle Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams. “With large, contiguous parks such as Discovery, Lincoln and Warren G. Magnuson Parks, as well as smaller gems distributed throughout the City, Seattle provides good habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species, and continues efforts to improve these animal homes. Being both an Urban Bird Treaty City and a Bee City, Seattle acknowledges the value of wildlife and healthy habitats, and is working to provide a safer home for wildlife through its policies and actions.”
The city of Seattle currently has a total of 974 Certified Wildlife Habitats, out of which 33 are Schoolyard Habitats. Sustainability plans such as the Seattle Climate Action Plan and the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan seek to make investments to restore greens spaces and creeks and to restore the environment in urban areas. Thirty different communities have joined NWF’s Community Wildlife Habitat program across the Seattle Metro Area.
“As our region continues to grow, so does our responsibility to our wild neighbors. Our local team of staff and dedicated volunteers, are a valuable local resource working with families, community partners, and volunteers to create wildlife habitat.” said Courtney Sullivan, Senior Manager, Regional Education Programs with National Wildlife Federation’s Seattle Office. “We congratulate the city of Seattle and the 30 Puget Sound communities participating in the National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat program for all they are doing to help wildlife.”
Sullivan continued, “We hope Seattle residents will join us for Seattle Wildlife in the City Week which will be May 11th to May 19th.” You can learn more about Seattle Wildlife in the City Week at www.seattlewildlifeweek.org.
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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