The National Wildlife Federation® (NWF) is pleased to recognize that Chris and Trista Rada in Pegram, TN has successfully created an official Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site. NWF celebrates the efforts of Chris and Trista to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young.
“Providing a home for wildlife in our communities – whether it’s at home, or in schools businesses or parks – is the demonstration of a healthy and active eco-system. There is no more rewarding way to stay connected to nature right outside your door,” said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation.
“It is a blessing to connect with nature and to provide a welcoming and safe place for birds and insects to thrive”, said Chris, “Climate change, unsafe gardening practices, and human intervention has caused the populations of many birds and beneficial insects to decline and I feel it’s important to do what we can to help these creatures.”
NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program has been helping people take personal action on behalf of wildlife for more than 40 years. The program engages homeowners, businesses, schools, churches, parks and other institutions that want to make their communities wildlife friendly.
This new certified habitat joins NWF’s roll of more than 150,000 certified habitats nationwide. Wildlife habitats are important to year-round wildlife residents as well as species that migrate, such as some birds and butterflies. Each habitat is unique for both beauty and function.
Originally set up as a place for wildlife photography, the Rada’s wildlife habitat has evolved over the last several years into a environment populated by a wide variety of birds and insects and is always alive with activity. Wildlife-friendly, Permaculture design is used to ensure that the habitat works along with nature without the use of harmful chemicals or unnatural additives. “One of our primary goals is to show others how a small area can be transformed into a place of color, movement, tastes, fragrances, and life using eco-friendly gardening practices that anyone can use”, said Trista.
People who create a Certified Wildlife Habitat receive a one-year subscription to the award-winning National Wildlife magazine, a personalized certificate and quarterly e-newsletters with
tips for improving their habitat for wildlife. They also are eligible to purchase NWF’s special outdoor sign designating their yard or garden as wildlife-friendly.
For more information on gardening for wildlife and details on how an entire community can become certified, visit www.nwf.org/habitat or call 1-800-822-9919. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.
Photographs by Chris Rada. See more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisrada