What's a Backyard Habitat Garden?

It’s a garden that supports the lifecycles of butterflies, birds, pollinators, and other animals that serve an important role in our gardens & ecosystems. They provide the food, water and shelter necessary for their survival. These gardens can be anywhere from formal to a more natural look. Be creative. In other words, there is no singular “look” that all habitats have, other than that they are full of life.

Our Mission

The mission of the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife Program is to restore habitat and wildlife populations to our cities, towns and neighborhoods. The program helps create, preserve, and/or restore the ecosystems that benefit not just butterflies, birds, insects and animals, but humans too.  As of March 2017, only 96 other communities in the United States have earned their NWF community certification to date, and we believe our town should be No. 97.

The habitat team, which includes members of Collingswood’s Green Team, is working with homeowners, businesses, and officials within the school district, borough, and county to create beneficial, beautiful garden habitats at residences, businesses, public spaces, parks, schools, and places of worship throughout town. If you live, work, attend school, or worship in the borough of Collingswood, or are just interested, you can help us reach our certification goal and create a more sustainable, beautiful, and beneficial environment for all to enjoy.

Step 1. Create a Habitat

It might seem daunting, but creating a beautiful garden that also supports local wildlife isn’t difficult. The 4 basic elements are food, water, cover and places to raise young. We have the resources to make this easy and fun.

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Step 2. Garden Responsibly

Think compost, rain barrel, native plants, leaf compost, leaf mulch, and NOT using pesticides or synthetic fertilizer. Collingswood makes it easy and affordable to set up a rain barrel and to start composting.

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Step 3. Get Certified

If you’ve done all of the above, this step takes 5 minutes. When you’re done, you’ll be added to our database of certified properties, get us closer to meeting our goal, and receive a very cool sign that shows your commitment. The NWF’s certification fee is $20.

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Step 4. Help Others

Creating a habitat in your own space is a beautiful, exciting thing. If you want to make an even bigger impact, subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook to receive announcements when we’re looking for a few extra hands to do plantings and outreach.

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The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program has a new formal partnership with the New Jersey Audubon Society with co-certification of each habitat created. Together they are recognizing the efforts of those in each of these select states who commit to creating wildlife habitats with a co-certification of the Certified Wildlife Habitats.

Interested in Sustainability?

We’re lucky to live in such a green town. The Collingswood Green Team, a group many of us are part of, are working on several projects to continue pushing toward a higher level of environmental sustainability.

For more information on this work, please visit Collingswood’s website and read their page in the Town Crier.

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“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”

Lady Bird Johnson