Homegrown National Park sign from Tallamy’s website
After working to create a mini-wildlife refuge on my little piece of urban landscape, I wanted my efforts recognized. I added my area of native plants to Doug Tallamy’s expanding map of Homegrown National Park acreage.
It is simple to create an account on Tallamy’s website. map.homegrownnationalpark.org
To register your native garden, just fill in your details: address, planting goal, and acres (or part of an acre in my case) you have planted. My space is pretty pitiful, but remember: Tallamy’s goal is to link up privately owned lands into an ever larger natural habitat. Every plot, big or small, matters.
Here is a detail of the West Coast region for gardens already listed on Tallamy’s North American map. My little spot is one of the 177 habitats registered in the middle of Oregon.
Part of the larger Homegrown National Park Map on Tallamy’s website.
I have also certified my yard as a wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, based on the shrubs and trees already in place, and on the bird feeders and water baths I keep filled. My native plants will add to the value of the habitat as they grow and mature. There is a $20 certification fee, and you can buy a cool sign to put in your yard for $30 more.
Sign from the National Wildlife Federation certification program
“Certified Wildlife Habitat® applicants are asked to confirm they’ve provided the required number of elements for each of the following:
Food, Water, Cover Places to Raise Young Sustainable Practices
Wildlife habitat gardens are a haven for local birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Tell us how your yard or garden provides habitat and the National Wildlife Federation will recognize it as a Certified Wildlife Habitat®. Once certified, you can share your accomplishment and commitment to helping wildlife with your whole neighborhood by purchasing and posting an exclusive Certified Wildlife Habitat® sign.”
Sign from the NABA butterfly garden certification program
The National American Butterfly Association has a Butterfly Garden Certification Program for landscapes with at least three butterfly nectar plants and three caterpillar host plants, with a fee of $15 for individuals. It has cool signs too.
As an example of habitat recognition at a local level, Portland, Oregon has a Backyard Habitat Certification Program co-sponsored with the Portland Audubon Society and the Columbia Land Trust. https://backyardhabitats.org/
It feels good to know my little eco-habitat is part of a greater community of nature lovers doing their part for wildlife.
I’m sure there are many more habitat recognition programs, and I would love to learn about other advocacy groups.
What is going on to promote native plants and wildlife in your area?