How to Get Your Wildlife Sanctuary Certified

How to Get Your Wildlife Sanctuary Certified

Your backyard can be so much more than just a place to set out some patio furniture.  You can make a National Wildlife Federation certified wildlife habitat.  You might thing that your yard is too small or you can’t do that in the city.  That isn’t the case you can find certified wildlife habitats all over the country, they can be found outside of businesses, schools, churches, community gardens and even homes just like yours.  If you want to learn how to get your wildlife sanctuary certified then read on.

Food Sources

To satisfy the requirements of certification you need to provide at least three food sources for wildlife, they can come from the plants in your yard (that is ideal), such as seeds, nut trees, berries, fruit, nectar, foliage or sap.  You can use feeders for squirrels, hummingbirds and squirrels particularly in the winter months and during very hot summer days when food can be scarce.  Native plants will work best.

Water Sources

You will need to have at least one source of water.  If you are living by a lake or have waterfront property then you have got this covered.  You can create a backyard pond but if that isn’t possible then all you need is something wildlife can access.  A smaller container with fresh water and some rocks for birds and bees is more than enough.  Those really pretty birdbaths you can find in home improvement stores are too hard for birds to use, the edges are too slippery rough surfaces are better for them.

Provide Cover

Even wildlife needs a break from the weather and the heat of the sun.  If you want your habitat certified then you need to provide at least two sources of cover.  This is where most people balk, because cover can make your yard look messy.  Cover can consist of a pile of brush, dead tree, log pile, thick shrubs or a pile of rocks.

Nesting Area

Wildlife need a place where they can nest and raise their young.  If you live in the city then you can put up a birdhouse or a plant for butterflies.  It is not as hard as it sounds.

Get Your Certification

You can go to the National Wildlife Federations website and fill out the application and tell them about the habitat that you have created.  There is a small fee that helps with their outreach efforts.

Creating a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary 

Creating a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary 

Homeowners spend plenty of time making their backyards something that they can be proud of, a place they can relax while entertaining friends and family.  There is no shortage of choices when it comes to creating your perfect backyard.  One of the things that you should consider is creating a backyard wildlife sanctuary.  It allows you to help the environment and create a home for animals that have been displaced by urban sprawl. Here are some things that you can do to help wildlife make your backyard a home.

Here are the things that you will need:

A Food Source

Providing a good food source is the single most important thing you can do to attract wildlife to your backyard.  It doesn’t matter if it is just birds and squirrels you are looking to feed or you want a garden that is a little wilder you are going to have to provide a food source.  If you are unsure what kind of food is suitable for birds and squirrels, they both enjoy birdseed.  If you put out a bird feeder you will find both of them raiding it for their next meal.  However squirrels can hoard food and have a tendency to steal all of the seed so you might want to get a squirrel proof bird feeder and feed squirrels some nuts separately.  You can buy birdseed and nuts at your local grocery store.


All living creatures need water to survive including the creatures that are going to call your backyard home.  In the summertime it gets scorching hot and water dries up that makes it hard for birds and squirrels to find a clean source of water.  Keeping out bowls of fresh clean water offers them a place of safety.  It will also keep them returning if they are getting what they need in your backyard.  You will have to change and clean out the water every couple of days.  Standing dirty water brings you a guest you don’t want…mosquitos.

Providing Shelter

You don’t necessarily have to provide shelter in your backyard in order to attract animals and birds but it does help.  Having a shelter available when the weather changes from fall to winter or even on stormy summer days will also help to stay.  For animals like birds and squirrels simply having a tree is enough to offer them some shelter.