In March of 2017 National Wildlife Federation (NWF) recognized and celebrated the efforts of Cooperative for Human Services Inc. at the Farm in creating a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. This certification also makes the Farm a Certified Wildlife Habitat® and part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.
CHS’s Wildlife Habitat at the Farm is an effort to increase the wildlife diversity in our backyard and create an environment where people can explore the outdoors and be in touch with nature. Through conscientious design we have created gardens and outdoor seating areas that are visually appealing and at the same time provide habitat for wildlife. These things have been accomplished by working with the existing landscape features.
The Farm pond provides food, water and shelter for local wildlife, which we take into consideration as we maintain the area. We have chosen to leave a grassy border untouched along the edge of the pond, allowing that piece to remain natural giving animals shelter as they make their way to the pond. We are also attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to our vegetable and flower gardens by adding a variety of native plants.
The NWF is America’s largest conservation and education organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife. The Garden for Wildlife program encourages planting with native species, discourages the use of chemical pesticide and recognizes efforts to provide habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. David Mizejewski, NWF Naturalist says, “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an apartment balcony, a ten-acre farm, a schoolyard, a business park, or anything in between, everyone can create a home for local wildlife. Turning your space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat is fun, easy and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife,” he added.
For more information on gardening for wildlife and details on how you or your an entire community can become certified, visit www.nwf.org/habitiat or call 1-800-822-9919