It’s Garden for Wildlife Month

By National Wildlife Federation, May 2, 2017

Attracting birds, butterflies and other wildlife is a wonderful way to make a difference right outside your door. It all starts with the things you plant.

The National Wildlife Federation has designated the entire month of May as Garden For Wildlife Month. We’ve been helping people restore wildlife habitat where they live, learn, work, play, and worship since 1973. Just provide the basic components of habitat and the birds and other wildlife will show up! It’s that simple!

When you create a wildlife-friendly garden, you’ll be rewarded by knowing you’re doing your part to help restore much-needed habitat. Imagine looking out the window into a landscape teeming with singing birds, colorful butterflies, pollinating bees, along with beautiful plants and water features that attract wildlife. It’s easier than you might think.

All wildlife need these four things to survive:


Native plants provide seeds, berries, nuts, nectar as food and support insects which are eaten by other wildlife. Bird feeders can supplement these natural food sources.


All animals need water to drink, bathe or as a place to breed.


Wildlife need shelter from bad weather and hiding places—for both predators and prey.

Places to Raise Young

Wildlife needs places to reproduce and for their young to grow

When you provide these things in your yard or garden, and commit to maintaining it in a natural, sustainable way, you create a wildlife habitat garden.


You don’t have to rip out your entire landscaping or start a garden from scratch to create wildlife habitat. You’re probably already providing some elements of habitat. Here are five easy ideas on how you can get started creating more habitat for wildlife in your garden.

1. Plant a shrub that flowers for pollinators and produces berries for birds and other animals.

2. Put out a birdbath. Even small water features will be used by wildlife.

3. Provide cover with dense shrubs, wildflower gardens, rock walls and evergreens.

4. Mount a nesting box for birds, plant host plants for butterfly caterpillars or install a frog pond as places to raise young.

5. Put away the chemicals. Natural gardens are better for you and your family as well as the wildlife.


Sign up for the Garden For Wildlife e-Newsletter before May 31, 2017 and be entered to win a “Habitat Helper” set to enhance your wildlife habitat garden that includes.

  • Bird feeder

  • Hanging Birdbath

  • Butterfly House

  • Wren Nesting Box

  • The award-winning wildlife gardening how-to book Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife, signed by its author National Wildlife Federation Naturalist, David Mizejewski.

Sign up for the newsletter and enter to win here.


Any place where you can create a wildlife-friendly garden can be recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat® by National Wildlife Federation. Your yard, a local park, a container garden, urban rooftop, a schoolyard or corporate landscape, regardless of size, can serve as important wildlife habitat.

Certifying is as simple as providing the four habitat components—food, water, cover, and places to raise young—and practicing sustainable gardening techniques such as eliminating pesticides, conserving water and planting native species.

Why Certify? Aside from the good feeling knowing you’re offering wildlife a place to thrive, when you certify you get the following benefits:

  • Inclusion in the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat® national network

  • A personalized certificate for your wildlife habitat

  • An optional press release to share with your local media about your achievement

  • A subscription to the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ newsletter

  • A free one-year membership to the National Wildlife Federation which includes a subscription to National Wildlife® magazine

  • A 10% discount on nesting boxes, feeders, birdbaths and other products from National Wildlife® catalog

  • Eligibility to purchase and post an attractive yard sign to display your commitment to wildlife and the environment


Certify now with our new mobile friendly online application at

There you’ll find expert advice, tips, projects, videos, books and more that will tell you everything you need to know to create an amazing wildlife-friendly garden habitat and to get it certified


The Garden for Wildlife program has been running since 1973, so you might have already Certified your wildlife habitat garden. We thank you for everything you’ve done to help wildlife.

If you’ve already Certified, you’re eligible to post one of our yard signs to share your accomplishment. We’ve got several all-new sign designs. To log in and purchase a sign, head to

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