Give To Your Gardens and Certify Them To Help Water And Wildlife In Chautauqua County

A National Wildlife Federation sign is pictured. Photo by Carol Markham

Creating a wildlife habitat garden that attracts birds, butterflies, and other neighborhood wildlife, and also helps water quality, is fun, rewarding, and will have a big impact in your yard, neighborhood, and community!

In May 2022, the conservancy set out to certify Chautauqua County as a Community Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Community certification through NWF is based on a points system, which includes a number of educational and outreach activities provided by the Conservancy and its partners as well as a certain number of individually certified gardens within the community.

But we need the community’s help. (And it’s easier than you might think!)

To receive a NWF certification, a single property, yard, or garden needs to provide food, water, cover, and places for wildlife to raise young, as well as be tended to with sustainable landscaping practices. Through participation in the project, residents learn about those sustainable gardening practices and how these habitats promote healthy, purposeful living for all who visit it!

We currently need 200 homeowners, businesses, schools, churches, and/or libraries to certify their yards, properties, and/or gardens to make this happen! We know this is an ambitious goal, but most of us have beautiful gardens and landscapes in our yards already. And if you need it, the Conservancy can help you enhance them to be wildlife-friendly with our LakeScapes program. The Conservancy’s LakeScapes program is a one-on-one educational program that provides a FREE personal yard consultation to any homeowner, business owner, organization, school, or municipality within Chautauqua County. Through the program, we give guidance on how to create native habitats that provide food and places for our local bees, birds, and other wildlife to live. Our recommendations not only beautify your yard but also protect water quality and enhance your way of life and the wildlife that live and thrive within it!

For more information on certifying your yard with NWF, please visit www.certifiedwildlifehabitat.nwf.org. For only $20, you can certify your garden and help us reach the goal of certifying Chautauqua County as a Community Wildlife Habitat – one yard at a time!

To schedule your free LakeScapes yard visit, please call 716-664-2166 ext. 1005 or email info@chautauquawatershed.org.

Healthy habitats and healthy communities go hand-in hand. Can we depend on you to become the next Chautauqua County property to help wildlife, water, and our way of life? Certify your yard today!

Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust working to preserve and enhance the quality, scenic beauty, and ecological health of the lands and waters of the Chautauqua region for the community.


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