The Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary Program (AAH) helps people create and maintain natural habitat (for birds, amphibians, reptiles and the insects that support them), around their homes and community space. Our own backyards provide an opportunity for conservation, even as natural habitat is decreasing. Key components of the program include conserving water, removing invasive plants, using native plants where appropriate, reducing the use of commercial fertilizers and pesticides, and providing habitat via shelter, water and food.
Interested parties can learn more by going to Audubon’s website and requesting a site visit. An Audubon “Ambassador” will walk with you through your yard looking at ways to enhance its wildlife value.
Over time, participating households monitor changes in their property and observe the use of their gardens by different species. Once at least 10 sanctuary species, identified from an AAH-provided list of more than 30 key species, have been observed, one’s property can be certified as a Home Wildlife Sanctuary. Upon certificiation, there’s a nice sign you can choose to purchase for your garden by way of outreach to your neighbors and to promote more wildlife habits in backyards in your neighborhood.
Please consider having a site visit to your property, and spending this next year observing how wildlife uses our property. AAH Ambassadors would love to walk through your yard with you and discuss your habitat enhancement ideas. Additionally, there are VCE service hours available to Master Gardeners who become Ambassadors and make site visits to share their expertise. If you’re interested in participating, contact Alda Krinsman.
For more information about the AAH program, as well as about wildlife species that can be observed in our communities, please see Audubon At Home in Northern Virginia. For information on the overall certification procedure, see Audubon At Home Wildlife Sanctuary Program.