Fayetteville may become the first certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the state

When the National Wildlife Federation certifies a place as a Community Wildlife Habitat, it gives its stamp of approval that the area provides a natural home for wildlife throughout the entire community. In other words, the area’s backyards, school grounds, parks, places of worship, and even its businesses must demonstrate that providing habitat for wildlife is a priority.

The community must also educate its residents about sustainable gardening practices like reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water, planting native plants and, of course, composting.

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To date, 46 communities throughout the country have received certification, and if you think Fayetteville should be #47, you’re not the only one.

The city’s Environmental Action Committee, in partnership with the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, last week announced that it has taken a major step toward getting our city certified as the first Community Wildlife Habitat in the state of Arkansas.

The groups recently registered Fayetteville’s Community Wildlife Habitat Project with the National Wildlife Federation, and if everything goes as planned, we’ll have even more to brag about around here.

To be recognized as a Community Wildlife Habitat, Fayetteville must meet a set of goals including certifying 200 homes as a wildlife habitat area.

Besides that, the Environmental Action Committee has set a goal of certifying 5 Schoolyard Habitats, 30 businesses, 5 places of worship, and 25 parks and trails within the first year of this initiative.

On September 7, 2010, the Fayetteville City Council voted to pass a resolution authorizing and supporting this initiative. In addition, Mayor Lioneld Jordan wrote a letter of support and was one of the first residences to certify his property.

For information on how to help out, see the city’s press release or contact project leader Terri Lane by phone (479-966-4780) or e-mail ([email protected]).