Local resident makes a difference to protect wildlife
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased that David and Kathy Hunter in Cornstalk, WV have successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat through its Garden for Wildlife movement.
NWF celebrates this effort to create a garden that supports birds, butterflies, bees, frogs and other local wildlife. Every Certified Wildlife Habitat garden provides natural sources of food, water, cover and places to raise young and is maintained in a sustainable way that incorporates native plants, conserves water and doesn’t rely on pesticides.
Started in 1973, the Garden for Wildlife movement is the oldest and largest native plant/habitat program, recognizing over 289,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat gardens across the United States to date, encompassing an estimated 4 million acres that support wildlife locally. Backyards, urban gardens, school grounds, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms, zoos, and community landscapes can all be recognized as wildlife habitats through the program. “We are excited about this new Certified Wildlife Habitat, as it provides native plants and essential habitat elements. Research shows certified properties have the potential to support twice as much wildlife compared to non-certified properties.” Said, Mary Phillips, Head of Garden for Wildlife/Certified Wildlife Habitat.
“Anyone, anywhere can restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and communities,” said NWF Naturalist David Mizejewski. “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an urban area or a rural plot of land, you can make a difference for local wildlife. Creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat garden is fun, easy and makes a real difference for neighborhood wildlife. It’s the perfect grassroots way to think globally and act locally and help birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife,” he added. “We enjoy watching wildlife and wanted to do our part to help. With all of the expansion going on and forests being cut down it is eliminating the habitat for wildlife to survive.”
The farm is densely populated with various oak, walnut, beech, apple, pine and hickory trees as a source of food. Other sources include Joe Pye weed, staghorn, blackberry, raspberry, currents, honeysuckle, daisy, alfalfa, ragweed, milkweed, goldenrod, ironweed, smartweeds, fleabanes and skunk cabbage to name a few.. It also provides cover (places to hide, nest and raise young) and to escape from predators: rock piles and walls, dense shrub thickets, ground cover of moss, leaves and dead tree fall, mature and small trees for nesting, trees with cavities, dens in the ground and wildlife ponds. Water is supplied by a creek that runs through the property and watering containers.
Many of NWF’s state affiliate organizations are partners in the Garden for Wildlife movement. Habitats in partnering states have national and state certification.
Participants who have their wildlife habitat garden certified receive a personalized certificate with a unique habitat number, a one-year membership to NWF with a subscription to National Wildlife magazine, a subscription to the Garden for Wildlife e-newsletter, a 10 percent discount to National Wildlife catalog, the exclusive right to post a Certified Wildlife Habitat yard sign and $5 off native plants at www.gardenforwildlife.com.
For more information on NWF’s Garden for Wildlife™ movement and how to qualify to have a garden space recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, visit www.nwf.org/garden. To jump start creating your own Certified Wildlife Habitat order native plant collections for your zip code designed to provide three season bloom at www.gardenforwildlfe.com.