A Certifiable Backyard

I never know what to do with my backyard. I don’t have a huge yard…it’s just under an acre…but it’s big enough for a small garden, a dozen or so trees, and a handful of flower beds. I want my yard to be as natural as possible, so we never use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides and we try to minimize mowing and watering. But I’m just never quite sure which vegetables, tree, and flowers are most well-suited to my yard and which plants will provide the maximum benefit to the surrounding natural environment.

Until now.

I recently when I came across a website that is going to walk me through the process of making my yard not only green, but critter-friendly to the birds, bees, butterflies, and toads that stop on by. With the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program, I now know which types of plants will help support the native ecosystem in my area. I’ve used the program’s information to create puddling ponds for butterflies, bird baths for birds, and a toad abode for…you guessed it, toads! And I’ve also found some great ways to create “cover” in my backyard so that my favorite critters will have a place to hide from predators and raise their young.

For $15 I can get my yard listed as “Certified Wildlife Habitat,” but I’ll probably skip that and just enjoy the knowledge that my yard is adding a little bit of extra greenspace for the local critters to enjoy. How cool is that?

Read more from Jenn at her blog, The Green Parent and join her in the Green Parents Forum to share ideas, ask questions, offer advice, or just rant and rave about going green!

Original post for 5 Minutes For Going Green.

One Response to A Certifiable Backyard
  1. Cindy C.
    September 24, 2008 | 12:55 pm

    I knew if I put off landscaping long enough, someone would come along and justify it for me. lol Seriously, love this post. We have just shy of six acres. It used to be pasture and the only thing I’ve “done” to it is to plant some perennials around the back deck and some hostas in the front. We see deer, turkeys, geese (TOO many geese, lol), various rodents, more toads and frogs than I can count, snakes, etc. We’ve even had a fox eating berries that dropped from the tree right outside our kitchen window. That was cool. We have a HUGE juneberry tree and the birds that visit it in the spring are unbelievable. I couldn’t plan it better myself.