Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary registration and certification is now a partnership project of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Certifying properties as wildlife sanctuaries is a volunteer implemented program. The core of the program is the “Healthy Yard Pledge” that stresses the following actions:
- Conservation and protection of water, e.g. using rain barrels
- Removal of invasive plants
- Replacement of non-native plants with native species
- Reduction or elimination of commercial fertilizers and pesticides
- Greater preservation of public and private natural areas
Eligible participants comprise not only homeowners, but also schools, churches, homeowner associations, parks, and other potentially sustainable wildlife habitats. Trained volunteer Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Ambassadors will visit with participants to identify opportunities to enhance their habitat. The commitment of participants and the outcome of their conservation actions are recognized by certifying their property when at least 10 of the 30 Sanctuary Species are observed – the aim is to “let the animals decide what makes a suitable habitat”.
Native habitat for our flora and fauna is being steadily diminished by sprawling development in Loudoun County. While we strive to protect the remaining habitat, it’s time to turn our attention to the conservation and restoration of native habitat in our own backyards and neighborhoods.
To learn more about becoming an ambassador or about having your property certified, contact Ann Garvey at firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit the Audubon at Home page on our website to get more information.