Bergen Audubon has a new program to certify backyards as natural areas. Check out their website for more information and an application. The program is similar to the National Wildlife Federation’s certified backyard habitat system or the butterfly garden certification program of the North American Butterfly Association.
All these programs have the same goal and go about it in the same way: they require you to provide food, water, cover, and a variety of native plants. They’re all based on the same premise: that in the suburbs, the environment is the sum total of all of our backyards, so the small steps that each of us take, especially planting a variety of native plants, will greatly improve the environment for wildlife of all kinds.
As you plan this year’s garden, keep the birds and bees in mind.