I read the coolest post over at one of my favorite garden blogs, Laguna Dirt.
“All you need to do is provide elements from each of the following areas:
- Food Sources – For example: Native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar
- Water Sources – For example: Birdbath, pond, water garden, stream
- Places for Cover – For example: Thicket, rockpile, birdhouse
- Places to Raise Young – For example: Dense shrubs, vegetation, nesting box, pond
- Sustainable Gardening – For example: Mulch, compost, rain garden, chemical-free fertilizer”
I am pretty sure that my yard would qualify! We have bird feeders, bird baths, and bird houses as well as plenty of trees and shrubs. Our yard is popular with a lot of birds (and several cats, and the occasional squirrel or raccoon).
Laguna Dirt got certified and they sent her this nifty sign to post:
You can check out her great photos and read about the kinds of things she has going on in her yard that qualified it as an official wildlife habitat here.
I think the sign is a great way to raise a little neighborhood awareness…maybe invite some questions or get other people interested. I think this would be a really great project for a school, or for elementary school kids to work on doing at home for part of a science class…extra credit…something. What a great way for city kids to become more aware of our natural surroundings and perhaps develop an interest in the environment and wildlife.
Other styes of signs are also available.
I am tempted to do it. Last fall when I planted bulbs in the tree pits in front of our house I had a lot of little kids on the block asking me what the heck I was doing. They seemed really interested in checking out the weird-looking bulbs and surprised that they wouldn’t come up until the following spring. (And believe me, I took this opportunity to drive home the message that the flowers won’t come up if people throw their trash there or let their dogs use it as a bathroom – sigh.)
So I think a Certified National Wildlife Habitat sign might strike up some good conversations and maybe even inspire some neighborhood kids or families to take more of an interest in their own backyard. Maybe that’s being a little too optimistic for my block in Brooklyn, but you never know…maybe there are some future bird-watchers out there.
I’ve already got a bit of a reputation as a “cat lady” because I trap-neuter-return (TNR) the local feral cats and provide them with some winter shelters and food. Why not go all the way and become and official habitat for wildlife?
Thanks, Laguna Dirt, for the information and an awesome post!