We COWs love sharing our pastures with wildlife. Its one reason many of us live here in the “country”. Birds, deer and a slew of other critters reside here with us. The Town’s Open Space Committee has adopted the Woodside Backyard Habitat Program to provide us with a way create and even certify our own backyards as wildlife habitat! This is a voluntary award program inspired by the National Wildlife Federation to provide habitat, food and shelter for wildlife on private properties across the country.
The program encourages you to allow part of your property to remain in relatively undisturbed natural state and to promote the propagation of native vegetation and enable wildlife access.. It
wants us to think the about the possibility of a wildlife corridors so that wildlife may move about without using the road system. See here for information on how to make your property wildlife friendly.
If you want to apply for an award the following four criteria apply: 1) A significant portion of the property should be maintained in a natural state, dominated by native vegetation and free of nonnative invasive plants; 2) This part of the property should be unfenced or have wildlife friendly fencing such as open post and rail; 3) Streams, including designated stream corridors, intermittent and ephemeral streams, ponds, marshes etc should remain in an open, natural condition (including a clear uninterrupted riparian buffer zone dominated by native vegetation) and accessible to wildlife; 4) Where applicable, the habitat area should abut designated open space or similar natural areas on neighboring properties. The application for the Woodside Backyard Habitat award is found on the Town website here.
You can also apply to the National Wildlife Federation and certify your property as a habitat. For that certification, you need to provide elements from each of the following areas: 1) Food Sources – for example: native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar; 2) Water Sources – for example: birdbath, pond, water garden, stream; 3) Places for Cover – for example: thicket, rockpile, birdhouse; 4) Places to Raise Young –for example: Dense shrubs, vegetation, nesting box, pond; 5) Sustainable Gardening – for example: Mulch, compost, rain garden, chemical-free fertilizer. See www.nwf.org/backyard/ See also here for information, ideas and links to more ways to be environmentally friendly and help local wildlife survive and prosper.
We congratulate and clap our hooves for the Open Space Committee and its efforts to protect our wildlife friends. We hope that even those COWs who are not interested in certification will adopt many of the measures described as part of this program to make our COWmunity as wildlife friendly as possible.