A couple on the island of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands has had their yard certified as a wildlife habitat:
With brightly colored bougainvilleas, massive boulders and blooming key lime plants, Brian and Gail Quinn’s yard in Peterborg not only is breathtaking to behold, but it also is a welcoming home for lizards, birds and other creatures of the Caribbean.
The National Wildlife Federation recently named the couple’s yard a Certified Wildlife Habitat. To qualify for the designation, the Quinns had to show how they provide wildlife with food sources, water sources, places for cover and places to raise their young. The National Wildlife Federation also requires applicants to use sustainable gardening methods and provide a $20 application fee. A nifty garden plaque, which the Quinns decided to spring for, costs a bit more.
“You want to have things that will attract the hummingbirds and butterflies,” Gail Quinn said. “It’s more than just putting out a bird feeder; it’s about cultivating things that they can eat.”
Since the program was launched in 1973, the National Wildlife Federation has certified almost 150,000 habitats across the country. The Quinns’ life-filled enclave is one of 10 certified habitats across the territory, National Wildlife Federation staff member Mary Burnette said.
Of the habitats in the territory, six are on St. Croix, three are on St. Thomas and one is on St. John. At least three are located at schools. On St. Thomas, the Quinns’ habitat is complemented by one other residential habitat in Estate Nazareth and another that belongs to the V.I. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Burnette said.
The National Wildlife Federation says creating habitats not only helps wildlife, it helps reduce global warming pollution by reducing upkeep-heavy lawns with native vegetation and grasses.
“This is something you can do to make a difference for nature and for the island,” Gail Quinn said.
Read the full article about the Quinn’s yard on Virgin Islands Daily News.
If you’re in the U.S. or a U.S. territory in the Caribbean and want to find out about how to create a wildlife habitat and get it certified, visit the National Wildlife Federation website. The Federation has also produced a series of seven videos about certified wildlife habitats.
Naturalist David Mizejewski answers the questions “What is Habitat?” and “Why Should We Garden For Wildlife?” (1st of 7)
[Photo: via aaann.com]