Backyard Wildlife Habitat Certification
Through the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program, you will learn how to restore wildlife habitat in your own yard, balcony, workplace, or even your entire community. Once you create your habitat, you can get your yard certified to help the City of Parkland remain as a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat.

Step One: Decide to Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat
There are many reasons to make your yard a backyard wildlife habitat. Check out the 10 reasons to certify your yard as a backyard wildlife habitat.

Step Two: Provide Food
You might think the easiest way to provide wildlife with food is to put out a bird feeder. There’s actually an even easier way, which is to plant native plants. Native plants are species that have evolved to live in your area. They normally don’t need much maintenance once you have them settled in to your garden.

Step Three: Provide Water
Bird baths are an easy way to provide water for wildlife. You’ll be amazed by the flurry of activity around a bird bath. The key to having a successful bird bath is to change the water at least every other day. This keeps the water fresh and ensures mosquitoes do not use the water.

Step Four: Provide Cover and Places to Raise Young
Wildlife need a place to hide in order to feel safe in your yard. They also need a more long-term shelter to raise their young. The easiest ways to provide native vegetative cover is to use existing vegetation, dead and alive. Many native shrubs provide great hiding places within their bushy leaves, and dead trees are home to lots of different wildlife. You can also construct hiding places using logs, brush, or rocks.

Step Five: Garden in an Environmentally Friendly Way
How you manage your garden or landscape can have an affect on the health of the soil, air, water, and habitat for native wildlife as well as the human community. Here are some sustainable gardening techniques that you can use to help conserve resources:
  • Mulching - Mulch helps keep water in the soil and available to the plant, rather than evaporating into the air. This can help you reduce your watering time. Also, as mulch breaks down, it provides nutrients to the soil. This can help reduce the need for fertilizer.
  • Reducing lawn areas - Lawns often require chemicals and if you use a gas-powered lawnmower, the engines in these machines are often very polluting. Since lawns are often made of only a few types of plants, they do not provide a lot of value for wildlife who benefit from ecosystems with diverse plants.
  • Xeriscaping - Xeriscaping is an approach to landscaping that minimizes outdoor water use while maintaining soil integrity through the use of native, drought-tolerant plants.
  • Removing invasive and restoring native plants - Native plants are better for the environment than exotic plants, generally requiring less fertilizer and other additives, less water, and less effort in pest control. They stabilize soil and reduce erosion, they more effectively filter stormwater than exotic plantings, thus improving water quality, and they promote biodiversity.
Step Six: Certify Your Habitat
Submit an application to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and encourage others to certify their yards. Let others know how easy it is to create a habitat for wildlife.