Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Certify Your Garden as a Wildlife Habitat – We Did…and Here’s How

A panorama of Lombard’s backyard highlights the climbing wisteria and lavender.

At the Larchmont Buzz, we take pollinators seriously! We encourage all our readers to consider making your backyard or front garden a healthy habitat for these important creatures that contribute so much to our ecosystem. Recently, our co-publisher, Patricia Lombard secured an official habitat certification from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) for her home garden.

The effort began when this writer volunteered to help the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Sustainability Committee achieve a Community Wildlife Habitat designation by NWF for the entire GWNC area. There are a number of requirements to do so, including the certification of backyards and home gardens that foster wildlife. Upon learning of the GWNC’s effort, Lombard decided to start with her own garden as a step toward contributing to the GWNC Sustainability Committee’s goal of certifying 300 homes.

“Certification is really easy, you just need to fill out a questionnaire on the NWF website that your garden, of any size,  is pesticide free and contains native plants,” Lombard told the Buzz.  “It’s likely that most of us already have a garden or yard that qualifies; we just have to formalize it with the National Wildlife Federation.”

What constitutes a wildlife habitat?

There are five core elements that create wildlife habitat:

  • access to food
  • water
  • cover
  • places to raise young, and…
  • sustainable gardening practices which ensure your front or back yard is a safe and attractive destination for wildlife

What are some benefits of a wildlife friendly garden?

  •  Simply enjoying the colors, sounds, and antics of hummingbirds, dragonflies, squirrels, and so much more will foster a deeper connection to the nature around us.
  • Learning to identify our local wildlife.
  • Preserving Southern California’s rich biodiversity by creating space in your garden for our wildlife to thrive and grow.
  • Contributing to the connection of green spaces across an otherwise very urban and manmade landscape.
  • Reducing water use and chemical fertilizers by using native plants that are climate appropriate and drought tolerant.
  • Shifting the paradigm from the environmental degradation of city making, to environmental improvement by revitalizing ecology in urban areas.

How can I get involved?

Do you notice birds roosting in your garden’s trees? Bees buzzing around your flowering shrubs? Are there California native plants in your garden? If so, your garden might qualify as a Wildlife Habitat.

Certifying online costs $20, and is as easy as clicking here.

To learn more about the full GWNC certification project, contact [email protected]

And if you’d like to learn more about how to look at your own yard as a potential wildlife habitat, the kinds of elements you might need to add to accomplish that, and how to create those elements, contact Calli at [email protected].  We’ll be writing more about doing exactly this in another yard or two!



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Calli Sara Goldstein
Calli Sara Goldstein
Calli Sara Goldstein is a contributing writer for the Buzz, specializing in sustainability, ecology, and agriculture.

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