The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased that Dennis Kenney in Jacksonville has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through its Gardens and Farm for Wildlife™ program.
In addition, Kenney's “Apis Gardens” habitat has been co-certified with the Texas Conservation Alliance NWF celebrates this effort to create a habitat 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.
Celebrating more than 45 years, the Garden for Wildlife movement has recognized over 227,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat gardens across the United States to date, encompassing more than 2.5 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.
“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.
“My small six acre farm is still under development with plans to build a high tunnel green house and create a pond for water foul. In the past six years I have established a fruit tree orchard, a honey bee apiary a small vineyard and a chicken coop and run for my flock of various hens. Being retired I have had the time to establish the Jacksonville Area Beekeepers and give beekeeping presentations to the local schools and community organizations. I enjoy watching wildlife and wanted to do my part to help. Redesigning my property to make it more inviting to wildlife not only gives me great wildlife watching opportunities, it also helps me to be greener – reducing lawn to mow, cutting down on watering and saving time in the long run to enjoy time outside,” said Mr. Kenney.
Many of NWF’s state affiliate organizations are partners in the Certified Wildlife Habitat program. Habitats in partnering states have national and state certification, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.
Every Certified Wildlife Habitat garden is now also part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to create a million gardens that provide habitat for declining pollinator insects such butterflies and bees.
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, and the exclusive right to post a Certified Wildlife Habitat yard sign.
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 https://www.nwf.org/garden or call 1-800-822-9919.