In our April 2014 issue, we profile five homeowners who have transformed their yards into bird habitats. They are among more than 170,000 gardens and other green spaces across America that have earned the National Wildlife Federation’s endorsement as Certified Wildlife Habitat.
The yards are in vastly different areas — urban, suburban, rural — but their owners share a common commitment to creating havens for winged neighbors.
“We’ve had homes with non-native lawns and plants in the past, and the biological diversity is practically zero,” says Lynne Weber of Austin, Texas. Her yard is one we’re featuring and is shown in the photo above. “We enjoy restoring ecosystems and all the denizens those healthy habitats bring.”
Anyone can make a yard a place birds love. Here are five organizations that can help you turn your backyard, schoolyard, apartment-building rooftop, or other outdoor space into a haven:
National Wildlife Federation
Learn how to make your yard bird-friendly and register it through NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program.
Vanessa Rusczyk, one of the gardeners we profile, is a member of the Center to Help Instill Respect and Preservation for Garden Wildlife in Alpine, California. CHIRP hosts the annual Sage and Songbirds Garden Tour, which featured Vanessa’s garden last year. This year’s tour is scheduled for May 2-4.
Charlotte, Reconnecting Ourselves With Nature is the local chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. Ernie McLaney, one of the homeowners we profile, is the president.
Texas Master Naturalist
The Texas Master Naturalist Program provides intensive training to help people become stewards of nature in their local communities. Lynne and Jim Weber of Austin are graduates. Read their blog and their 2011 book Nature Watch Austin: Guide to the Seasons in an Urban Wildland.
Wisconsin-based Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities.