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Community Habitat Project
The Fayetteville Community Wildlife Habitat Project™ is a volunteer-based initiative of the Environmental Action Committee in coordination with the National Wildlife Federation and in partnership with the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association.
What is a Community Habitat™?
A Community Wildlife Habitat™ is a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the community--in individual yards, on school grounds and in public areas such as parks, community gardens, places of worship and businesses.
It is a place where the residents make it a priority to provide habitat for wildlife by providing the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young, as well as implementing green landscaping practices.
Community Wildlife Habitats are organized by a Habitat Team who educate resident’s about local wildlife species and sustainable landscaping practices such as reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water, planting native plants, removing invasive plants, creating rain gardens and composting.
How Does the Habitat Project Benefit Fayetteville?
The wellbeing of our native plants and animals has a direct impact on the quality of life in Fayetteville. When we provide for the specific needs of wildlife throughout our community, we create neighborhoods that are healthier and more enjoyable for everyone. Neighborhoods where green space and natural surroundings are enhanced, where water quality is preserved, and where neighbors can come together to enjoy the rich diversity of life outside their front doors.
The Wildlife Habitat Project™ helps to enhance the green infrastructure of our city, and the ecosystem services provided therein.
In addition, habitat destruction and fragmentation are the biggest threats to wildlife today. Urbanization has diminished the natural territory of our local wildlife, forcing them to increasingly rely on our suburban landscapes for survival. The Fayetteville Community Wildlife Habitat Project™ is a volunteer-driven, collaborative program initiated by the Environmental Action Committee to address this growing concern for wildlife.
Together we can create attractive landscapes that provide healthy habitat not only for butterflies, songbirds, cottontail rabbits, hawks and other interesting wildlife, but for ourselves and for future generations as well.
“Ready, Set, CERTIFY!”
Get started today! By creating habitat in your yard, school, church, or place of business, and certifying that property with the National Wildlife Federation®, you can help Fayetteville become the first Community Habitat™ in Arkansas!
Once Fayetteville has registered the required amount of properties (along with meeting other education and community goals) we will achieve designation by the National Wildlife Federation® as a Community Wildlife Habitat™.
Visit www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife for a list of criteria and online application.
In What Other Ways Can I Participate?
Once you have created and certified habitat on your property, there are lots of other ways to get involved in the Fayetteville Community Wildlife Habitat Project™.
Begin by helping to spread the word and by championing the creation of habitat on other properties. You can request a power point presentation for your neighborhood association, school, workplace, faith group, or other community group by contacting Terri Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or (479) 966-4780.
Throughout the year, the Environmental Action Committee, in coordination with the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association and the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department, will be coordinating habitat volunteer opportunities including invasive plant removals, native plantings and stream and trail cleanups.
In addition, a Habitat Stewards Volunteer Training will be offered in the spring of 2011 to interested residents. This 30-hour training (provided in a series of mandatory workshops) will certify you to assist with the creation and maintenance of wildlife habitat properties throughout Fayetteville.
How Can Schools Participate?
To help reconnect today's children to the outdoors, the National Wildlife Federation assists schools in developing outdoor classrooms called Schoolyard Habitats®, where educators and students learn how to attract and support local wildlife. These wildlife habitats become places where students not only learn about wildlife species and ecosystems, but also where they can hone their academic skills and nurture their innate curiosity and creativity.
Go to www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife and click on Schoolyard Habitats® for a complete list of resources, including a How-To Guide, curriculum guides and project ideas.
Note to Educators; our team of local Habitat Steward Volunteers will help you through the process and will also provide assistance in creating and maintaining your Schoolyard Habitat through holidays and summer break. Classroom speakers are also available by request. To learn more, contact Habitat Team Member, Cindi Cope at (479) 521-0934.
How Can Businesses Participate?
Workplace Habitats provide places for employees to experience nature and escape the pressures of the workday for a little while. Common areas around the work site can be developed into essential sanctuaries for wildlife and people alike. Workplace Habitat projects also often give employees a common goal and a sense of ownership and pride in their workplace.
To create and certify habitat at your workplace, simply follow the same guidelines as for any other habitat location.
How Can Faith Communities Participate?
Habitat can be created and certified anywhere, including church properties. Providing for wildlife can be an inspiring project for church members, youth groups, and existing or intended church green teams. Faith-based Habitats can serve as peaceful meditation sites and a visible sign of your congregations commitment to environmental stewardship.
To schedule a faith-based wildlife habitat presentation, contact Terri Lane at email@example.com or (479) 966-4780.
How is the Habitat Project Funded?
All funding for habitat creation and certification are self-generated by the property owners themselves with some financial assistance available to schools. Educational workshops, informational materials, and special projects are provided by donors and in-kind services. This is a volunteer driven, donor-based project.
For more information contact contact Terri Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or (479) 966-4780.