Certified Backyard Habitats




How would you like to turn your backyard into a wildlife sanctuary? Want to grow the native plants needed to entice native insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals to call your land home? Well you can, by participating in Kentucky Waterways Alliance and the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Backyard Habitat Program™. The best part is that you will be simultaneously helping to improve local water quality, and part of the certification fee supports local KWA programs.

The ever-increasing demand for development of housing and business space means there is less natural space for the wildlife of Kentucky. It also means that water is traveling over rooftops, sidewalks, and roadways before making its way to our waterways. This is where you and your backyard can help. By joining the over 200,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats™ in the United States you will be providing critical wildlife habitat, and helping to reduce storm water run off in your watershed.

By following the simple steps laid out in the Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program you can ensure that your property has everything your local wildlife needs. The program focuses on the following areas.

Food: Native plants provide nectar, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, foliage, pollen and insects eaten by an exciting variety of wildlife. Feeders can supplement natural food sources.

Water: All animals need water to survive and some need it for bathing or breeding as well.

Cover: Wildlife needs places to find shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or stalk prey.

Places to Raise Young: Wildlife needs resources to reproduce and keep their species going. Some species have totally different habitat needs in their juvenile phase than they do as adults.

Sustainable Practices: How you manage your garden can have an effect on the health of the soil, air, water and habitat for native wildlife as well as the human community.

Wildlife Habitat Resources:

KWA summer intern, Rachel Skinner, an environmental studies student at Centre College, hosted a workshop about Certified Wildlife Habitats in celebration of Pollinator Week! If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the virtual workshop, you can watch a recording here, or check out some of the resources below.

Think your backyard has what it takes?

Visit nwf.org and certify your backyard today!