|Your Backyard Jungle
A National Wildlife Federation program promotes natural environs at home.
By Jodi Helmer
Instead of setting traps or screeching in fear when she sees possums, mice and snakes in her backyard, Martha Crotty feels a sense of accomplishment.
“We love animals and wanted to make sure our yard was a good habitat for wildlife,” she says.
Her commitment to providing a natural environment for wild animals led Crotty to turn the backyard of her Asheboro, North Carolina, home into a Certified Wildlife Habitat in 2006.
The National Wildlife Federation introduced the program in 1973 to combat the impact of development on wildlife habitats. Since the program’s inception, the group has certified 150,000 wildlife habitats in the US, 125,000 of them between 2000 and 2011.
“The program helps wildlife but it also helps connect people to nature,” explains NWF naturalist David Mizejewski. “People get certified because they care about wildlife and like to feel like they are part of a bigger movement and cause.”
Crotty hung several birdfeeders and placed a birdbath in the garden. Instead of hauling yard waste to the curb, she piles cut brush in one corner of the yard to provide a shelter for wildlife. These simple steps, combined with planting native species and eschewing chemical fertilizers, allowed her to attract a range of animals—including turtles, birds, raccoons, squirrels and snakes—to her yard.
Full story here: http://energytimes.com/pages/departm...tters1204.html