The High Bridge Environmental Committee had the goal of making our town a certified Wildlife Habitat Community for several years. To achieve this recognition, we needed to complete enough goal requirements in education, community, and administration as well as have a certain number of homes and Borough-owned property registered as wildlife habitat areas to qualify for certification. In July 2013, we completed all the requirements necessary to be named a “Wildlife Habitat Community!” Click High Bridge Wildlife Habitat Community slideshow to see photos of some of the yards that helped us reached our goal of becoming a certified Wildlife Habitat Community. Thank you to everyone who certified their Backyard Wildlife Habitats!
A Community Wildlife Habitat is a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the community—in individual backyards, on school grounds, and in public areas. A Community Habitat Project creates a place where people, flora and fauna can all flourish. It is a place where the residents make it a priority to provide habitat for wildlife by providing the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young.
There are only 69 certified communities in the entire country and one other NJ town (Montclair) certified as a Wildlife Habitat Community. We are now one of the handful of communities nationwide that have received this special recognition.
Please join us on this project by certifying your backyard today. The process of getting certified is easy; it’s quick and it’s fun.
Here’s what you need:
The basic elements of a backyard wildlife habitat are:
- Cover & Places for Wildlife to Raise their Young
The Food element can include plants that provide nectar, pollen, sap, seeds or berries as well as feeders. You need a minimum of three Food sources for your yard to qualify as a Wildlife Habitat.
The Water element can include, among others, a pond, stream, wetland, water garden or a birdbath. Your backyard needs one Water element to qualify.
The Cover and Places for Wildlife to Raise their Young elements often overlap and can include shrubs, woodpiles, stone walls, a water garden, as well as nesting boxes, wooded areas and evergreens. You need at least two of each of these elements for certification.
Additionally, the National Wildlife Federation wants to ensure that we are all utilizing Sustainable Gardening Practices. These include the elimination of chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers, utilizing mulch, composting, removing invasive plants, restoring native plants, reducing lawn areas and reducing erosion. A minimum of two Sustainable Gardening Practices is required.
For more information: How to Help/Garden for Wildlife
You’ll likely find that your yard already contains many, if not all of the elements needed to qualify.
Complete the NWF application. If you’d rather apply by mail, there are printed applications available at both Borough Hall and at the High Bridge Library.
There is a $20 application and processing fee payable to the NWF online by credit card or by check if you apply by mail.
Once certified, you will receive these National Wildlife Federation (NWF) benefits:
- A personalized certificate that recognizes your NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat™.
- A free NWF membership which includes a full year’s subscription to the award-winning National Wildlife® magazine.
- A free subscription to the quarterly e-newsletter, Habitats, full of insightful tips and information on gardening and attracting wildlife year after year.
- Your name listed in NWF’s National registry of certified habitats which recognizes all you’ve done for wildlife.
To those of you who already have certified your backyards and to all of you who will, THANK YOU for helping to make High Bridge a wildlife-friendly community.
High Bridge Elementary School has a certified Schoolyard Habitat !
School & Community Anti-idling Carbon Footprint Awareness ProjectThe borough Wildlife Habitat Team worked with the borough school Environmental Club to educate the community about the issues of idling their cars for longer than 3 minutes.
Students learn about local wildlife.