Complete the following three actions to achieve Sacred Grounds status. Actions are not required to be completed in sequential order.
Download the Actions Checklist »
Create A Wildlife Habitat
Create a wildlife habitat area at your congregation, faith community, or house of worship by completing the requirements of creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Requirements include providing food, water, cover, places for wildlife to raise young and basic sustainable landscaping practices. To learn more about wildlife habitat and certify your grounds go to www.nwf.org/certify. The habitat requirements are also included as the last page of this packet. Note that it is not necessary to certify your grounds as a Certified Wildlife Habitat – only to meet the requirements outlined. When you complete the Sacred Grounds certification requirements, you will be certified as a Sacred Grounds house of worship.
Download A Garden Certification Walk-Through Checklist
Complete At Least Two Items Under Each Of The Commitment Areas Below.
Commitment Area I: Connecting faith and environmental stewardship
- Faith leader speaks about restoring wildlife habitat and connection to faith to full congregation.
- Use religious education programs (youth and/or adult) to educate about wildlife habitat stewardship and the environment.
- Use wildlife habitat area as a sacred space (worship service, religious school lessons, group prayer, self-guided prayer walk, celebration service, and prayer garden).
- Other bonus ideas (submit summary of other ways you connected faith with environment).
Commitment Area II: Engaging the congregation
Engaging congregation members to help create wildlife habitat at the congregation as well as at their homes.
- Place an ad or banner on congregation website or social media profiles.
- Host an informational table, or create a display which highlights the project.
- Write an article about habitat work for congregation’s newsletter.
- Create a photo album or online photo display of your congregation’s wildlife habitat. Add Sacred Grounds™ “badge” to your congregation’s website that designates your stewardship commitment and status.
- Host a celebration/dedication or blessing for the site.
- Host a planting day.
- Host a native plant swap or sale to promote the planting of native plants and/or raise funds for gardening projects.
- Host a workshop for members on how to create wildlife habitat at home.
- At least 25 members of the congregation certify their homes as NWF Certified Wildlife Habitats®.
- Place an attractive NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat® or Sacred Grounds™ sign on the grounds to recognize achievement.
- Place interpretative signs and/or plant identification signs as resource for individuals.
- Record and post wildlife observed at the wildlife habitat area, for example as a congregation checklist or through citizen science websites.
- Other bonus ideas (Submit summary of other ways you engaged your congregation).
Commitment Area III. Reaching Beyond the Congregation
Share your story with your faith, other faiths and local community
- Write article/blog/ etc. about your Sacred Grounds™ project (faith network publication, local newspaper/magazine).
- Host a garden tour.
- Host a volunteer workday to plant, sustain, and/or improve the habitat.
- Host a community workshop to share how to create Certified Wildlife Habitat® at area homes and businesses.
- Give a presentation on your Sacred Grounds™ and the certification process at a local, state or national event.
- Engage other organizations that use facility (e.g. Scouts, daycares/preschools, social service organizations, food pantries, etc.) – through service projects, activities and events.
- Other bonus ideas (Submit summary of what other ways you engaged beyond your congregation to raise awareness for project).
Create A Maintenance Plan That Commits To Sustainable Practices For Your Wildlife Habitat And Grounds Stewardship Beyond Year One.