One of the easiest and most effective things you can do to help out wildlife is to preserve the habitat that the animals need to survive. Anyone can create a sanctuary for local wildlife like birds and butterflies. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can turn your schoolyard, balcony or roof container garden, or work landscape into a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Becoming certified is very easy! All you need is $20 for the application, and you need to meet a few requirements. On the website, you can download a checklist to make sure you meet the requirements for your wildlife garden. This includes providing a certain number of elements for each of the following:

Food – this includes bird and butterfly feeders, as well as plants with fruit or seeds

Water – this could be anything from bird baths to streams or lakes

Cover – a wooded area, brush pile, or roosting box

Places to raise young – dead trees, nesting boxes, or burrows

Sustainable practices – limiting water use, composting, or using native plants

There are many benefits to having a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Your certification includes a one-year membership to the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife community and magazine subscription, 10% off catalog merchandise including nest boxes, feeders and birdbaths, and you can purchase a sign to display in your yard showing that you have your very own Certified Wildlife Habitat. Every single habitat garden, no matter how small, is another step towards replenishing important natural resources for your local wildlife.