WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The program is open to residential properties, homeowner associations, schools, places of worship, parks and commercial properties and other potentially sustainable wildlife habitats, both public and private. There is no charge for the site visit by a volunteer Audubon At Home Ambassador.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR SANCTUARY CERTIFICATION?
- Attract 10 of our Sanctuary Species. We “let the animals decide” the quality of the habitat. The key to certification is the observed use of the property by 10 out of 35 targeted sanctuary species, or species groups of wildlife as needing assistance in our area due to loss of habitat.
- Take the Healthy Yard Pledge to
- Reduce pesticide and fertilizer use
- Conserve water and protect water quality
- Remove invasive non-native plants
- Plant species native to our area
- Reduce area covered by lawn grass
- Support birds and other wildlife.
3. Measure your success. Observe the changes in your habitat over time and share your results with Audubon At Home-Loudoun Wildlife.
WHAT IS THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS?
Here are the basic steps toward certification.
- Review the application by downloading it here for required habitat practices and features to include in your property.
- Request an Audubon At Home visit. An Audubon At Home Ambassador will contact you to schedule a free in-person visit. They will assess your habitat readiness and offer recommendations about environmental practices, native plants and animals, water retention, and other habitat features. The Ambassador will send you a site report. Ambassadors remain available for on-going consultation.
- Take steps to improve your wildlife habitat and attract at least 10 Sanctuary Species. You may be starting from scratch with your property or you may already meet the criteria so this step will be different for everyone.
- Have you met the criteria? Download your application and complete it by noting your Sanctuary Species, sign it (electronic signature is fine), and submit it for certification. You can either mail the application to Loudoun Wildlife Coordinator, P.O. Box 1892, Leesburg, VA 20177 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will celebrate your success by adding your name to the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and Audubon of Northern Virginia websites.
- Optional: After certification you may purchase an Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary sign to display on your property. The cost is $35, including tax. Displaying a sign celebrates your efforts and lets others know about the program thereby increasing the impact of your habitat.
You can see where Audubon At Home certified sites in northern Virginia are on the map here.
We encourage you to use the resources on our website throughout the process and share your experiences with us and your community. Contact us through your ambassador or at email@example.com.