Garden for Wildlife

Certified Wildlife Habitats


What are Certified Wildlife Habitats?

The Association of Northwest Steelheaders has teamed 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. Since 1973, the Garden for Wildlife program has empowered people to invite wildlife back into their neighborhoods by converting their gardens, both large and small, urban and rural, into habitat for local pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. Every habitat garden is a step toward replenishing resources for wildlife throughout Oregon’s watersheds, forests, and urban areas.

The Northwest Steelheaders recognize that in order to ensure thriving populations of fish for future generations, we need to protect the habitat conditions upon which these species depend. In spending our free time along rivers and lakes, anglers are able to clearly witness the adverse effects of pollution, runoff, and high water temperatures. Strong salmon and steelhead runs rely on cold and clean water flowing through healthy riparian areas. By creating wildlife gardens and cultivating native plants in our communities, we are helping to prevent soil erosion, reduce runoff, and ultimately provide healthy salmon habitat conditions downstream.

Certified Wildlife Habitat Checklist

Certify Your Outdoor Space

A certified wildlife habitat uses sustainable gardening practices to provide food, water, cover, and places to raise young for local wildlife. There are currently over 3,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats in Oregon, and the list keeps on growing!

Animals aren’t the only ones who benefit from the Garden for Wildlife Program. When you certify your outdoor space, you become a member of NWF’s Garden for Wildlife community and receive various benefits, including a personalized certificate, a subscription to National Wildlife Magazine, and 10% off the magazine catalog’s merchandise.

A portion of your $20 application processing fee (waived for schools) goes to supporting programs that educate children and adults on how to make a difference for salmon and wildlife. We also encourage you to purchase and proudly display a Certified Wildlife Habitat sign, which now sports an Association of Northwest Steelheaders logo. For every sign purchased, the Steelheaders receive $5. By displaying this sign in your beautiful garden, you may inspire your friends and neighbors to create their own Gardens for Wildlife.

Creating your Wildlife Habitat

To certify, your wildlife habitat must provide food, water, cover, and places to raise young while using sustainable gardening practices. Use this easy checklist to determine which components your garden already provides. When you are ready to certify, you can do so online or download the brochure application and mail it in.

Contact the Education and Outreach Coordinator at