Anybody can be a Habitat Hero! Habitat Heroes are individuals who make a positive impact in our Colorado and Wyoming communities by increasing natural areas, providing homes and food for wildlife, and creating small areas of wildlife habitat that can connect larger green spaces together. Whether the landscape you tend to is a residential yard, a few pots on a balcony, a public park or schoolyard garden, Habitat Heroes believe in growing a healthy community for birds, wildlife and people! Does this sound like you? Then let’s make sure you get the recognition you deserve and your efforts, big and small, inspire others!
What makes up a Habitat Hero Garden?
- Support wildlife by planting bird and butterfly-friendly plant species for year-round food, cover and shelter.
TIP: Providing food when provisions are scarce help birds and other wildlife, so aim to have plants that bloom during the shoulder seasons – early spring and late fall.
- Use less water (and thus less energy) by planting natives and regionally adapted plants;
TIP: Turf grass requires 4x more water than plants like perennials or shrubs. Save water by replacing sterile turf grass with a variety of regionally adapted native plants, adding beauty and function to your space!
- Reduce lawn areas and plant a variety of native perennials, shrubs, grasses and trees – creating a garden rich in textures, bloom times, color, vertical structure and food sources;
TIP: Regionally adapted or native plants have evolved in our harsh growing conditions – these plants are hardy and do well in our region.
- Reduce or eliminate chemical use to make a more sustainable and healthier world for all of us;
TIP: Almost all songbirds feed their young insects; provide nesting materials for birds and you’ll be providing a natural pest control for your garden. A stellar example are Barn Swallows, they feed their young 8,000 insects per day – chemicals are no match to Mother Nature.
- Control invasive plants that degrade habitat in and beyond our yards.
TIP: Learn how to identify invasive and non-native species per the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Noxious Weed Species ID list.
How do I apply?
It’s easy to do!
- Plant your wildlife-friendly garden (Refer to our Resources page, to help you get started on creating your bird-friendly garden today!)
- View our Tiered Approach to find out what catergory your garden falls into.
- Fill out this application, available online.
- Submit payment of $30.00 via check made out to “Audubon Rockies” and send to 116 N. College Ave, Suite 1, Fort Collins, CO 80524.
- Our staff at Audubon Rockies will review your application and determine if your garden is a bronze, silver or gold wildscape.
- Allow 3-4 weeks to process your application and to receive your benefits package.
What benefits do I receive from my $30 application fee?
- An all-weather garden sign to proudly display in your garden that corresponds to your bronze, silver or gold status.
- One year subscription to National Audubon Society
- Electronic copy of either Colorado or Wyoming Wildscapes book – so you can continue to improve your garden and share ideas with friends!
- Packet of wildflower seeds.
- Subscription to Audubon Rockies monthly e-newsletter.
- Your garden featured on our online Story Map which highlights photos and stories of other certified Habitat Hero Gardens using a new interactive tool!
- Your garden featured in other Audubon Rockies educational and marketing tools (if granted permission) – help to inspire others!
- A chance to be featured in the nationally-recognized, High Country Gardens catalog
- Pride in knowing you are part of the growing effort – even small patches of wildscapes can provide oases for wildlife like butterflies, bees, and birds by creating green corridors that link your garden to larger lands!
How does the Habitat Hero certification differ from other garden certifications?
It’s all about the personal connection and the resources!
The Habitat Hero program offers a tiered approach in certifying gardens so that a larger audience can achieve success. Our dedicated staff at Audubon Rockies will review your application and determine if your garden is a bronze, silver or gold wildscape. We value every effort and will provide constructive feedback to help you improve your existing wildscape. The exciting part of this program is that we are all part of this effort to make a positive difference for our pollinators, and sharing ideas and recognition helps build awareness and improve habitat for birds and wildlife.
The Habitat Hero program empowers engagement by providing free resources and connections to local expertise so that individuals can successfully design gardens (small and large!) based on eco-friendly principles – such as using native plants, conserving water, and eliminating pesticides. These actions not only create a welcome place for birds and help our environment by limiting water usage and combating climate change impacts, but also promote citizenship through hands-on activities that can benefit the greater community.
For more information or assistance, please contact Jamie Weiss, Habitat Hero Coordinator at email@example.com or (970) 416-6931
We are happy to work with you to make your gardening efforts a success that you can brag about while providing quality habitat for birds, butterflies, and whole host of critters!
Apply to Become a Habitat Hero!
Inspire others to create wildlife habitat and beautify your community!