Garden for Wildlife: Certified Wildlife Habitats
The Association of Northwest Steelheaders is teaming up with National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program to transform backyards, school grounds, places of worship, businesses, and community spaces into Certified Wildlife Habitats across Oregon. Since 1973, the Garden for Wildlife program has been empowering people to transform their piece of earth, whether large or small, urban or rural, into habitat for local pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. Together we recognize that every habitat garden is a step toward replenishing resources for wildlife locally and throughout Oregon’s forests and watersheds. The Northwest Steelheaders love to fish, but we also want to protect the resource long into the future. Strong salmon and steelhead runs depend on cold, clean water that flows through healthy forests. And because anglers spend a lot of time on the rivers; we see the adverse effects of pollution, runoff, and high water temperatures on salmon health. Creating habitats and planting native species in our yards and community areas has positive effects downstream by preventing soil erosion and reducing runoff into our watersheds. Everything runs to the river!
What is a Certified Wildlife Habitat?
A certified wildlife habitat uses sustainable gardening practices to provide food, water, cover, places to raise young for local wildlife. There are over 3,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats in Oregon and growing!
A portion of your $20 application processing fee supports the Association of Northwest Steelheaders and the National Wildlife Federation’s programs to inspire others to make a difference and address declining habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, amphibians and other wildlife downstream like salmon. The fee is waived for schools Pre-K to Grade 12. We encourage you to purchase and proudly display a Certified Wildlife Habitat sign with the Association of Northwest Steelheaders logo to inspire your friends, family, and neighbors to create their own Garden for Wildlife.
Creating your Wildlife Habitat
To certify, habitat must provide food, water, cover, and places to raise young while using sustainable gardening practices. There is an easy checklist to use to see what your yard already provides for wildlife. If you are ready to certify, you can do so online or download the brochure application to mail it in.
Food: Plant native plants to provide food sources throughout the four seasons for small animals like birds, pollinators, and squirrels. Supplement when needed.
Water: All animals need water to survive and some need it for bathing or breeding.
Cover: Wildlife need places to find shelter from bad weather and to hide from predators.
Places to Raise Young: Wildlife use secure places to raise their young, such as nests for birds, nooks and crannies in rocks, and brush piles.
Sustainable Practices: The things you do in your home, garage, and yard can affect the health of the soil, air, water, and habitat.
Does your space already provide these elements in your wildlife garden? Certify your garden today!
If you are creating a new garden, design it with wildlife in mind! Get more information on creating your habitat garden at National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife website.
How to Protect Birds in Your Backyard – Audubon Society
Living With Wildlife – Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Native Plants of the Willamette Valley – Metro Regional Government
Invasive Plants of the Portland Area – East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District
Bosky Dell Natives – A native plant nursery in West Linn
Audubon Society Annual Native Plant Sale – Portland Audubon Society
List of local sources of native plants – Clean Water Services
Water Conservation Tips – East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District
Guide to Oregon’s Forest Wildlife – Oregon State University Extension Services
Salmon Friendly Garden – Snohomish County
Streamside landowners – East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District
Backyard Habitat Certification Program – Portland Audubon Society
Ash Creek Forest Management – Forestry and habitat design firm
Parting with Pesticides – Clackamas River Basin Council
Guide to Priority Plant and Animal Species in Oregon Forests – The Oregon Forest Research Institute
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