Certified Wildlife Habitat

Gardening for wildlife

Photo by Erica Herzog of Bellows Falls

Through a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) is empowering people to turn their backyards into thriving habitats for birds, butterflies and other wildlife in Vermont.

Tell us how your yard or garden meets five criteria necessary for wildlife: food, water, cover, places for wildlife to raise young, and wildlife-friendly landscaping practices. If it’s eligible, the National Wildlife Federation will recognize it as a Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

Celebrate your commitment to wildlife and certify your yard, balcony garden, schoolyard, work landscape, or even a roadside green space. It is fun, easy, and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife!

Get certified

When you certify through this link or download and fill out the paper application, you will receive a joint certification through the National Wildlife Federation and VNRC. Once certified, you can share your accomplishment and commitment to helping wildlife with your whole neighborhood by purchasing and posting an exclusive Certified Wildlife Habitat® sign.

The secure $20 application processing fee and sign purchase directly support the National Wildlife Federation’s programs to protect wildlife and its habitat.

$5 from every certification fee comes back to VNRC, to help us safeguard wildlife habitats in Vermont. Thank you for your support!

Tips for getting started in Vermont

Attracting birds, butterflies and other wildlife is a wonderful way to make a difference right outside your door. It all starts with the things you plant. Find guidance in this brochure from NWF all about building wildlife-friendly gardens. Here are five simple tips to get started:

Together the National Wildlife Federation and VNRC recognize that every habitat garden is a step toward replenishing resources for wildlife locally and along migratory corridors. Thanks for participating in the program!


Did you certify your space, and would you like to share your story? Please contact Colin Keegan at ckeegan@vnrc.org.

Special thanks to the National Wildlife Federation for making this work possible. For questions about getting your certification, please contact Erin Sweeney, NWF Garden for Wildlife Manager at sweeneye@nwf.org.