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Benchmark Goals for Becoming Certified

Requirements to Become a Recognized Certified Community

Achieving certification requires a community to achieve two goals and specific benchmarks within those goals.  You will need to certify properties as having the required elements that support wildlife (food, water, cover and places to raise young), through NWF's Garden for Wildlife program requirement. Additionally, you will need to educate and involve your community through a series of projects to raise their awareness and understanding for the natural environment in their community and the wildlife living in their surroundings. 

Goal One: Determine the Number and Types of Properties to Certify

Your specific goals for how many properties and of what type you will need to certify are based on your population.  Take a moment to review the certifications required by population.  If you have questions, please contact NWF to discuss your community, as some customization can be provided.

Goal Two: Engage your Community

There are a wide variety of ways to achieve the four types of engagement goals.  Each type of engagement has a minimum number of points that you need to achieve, but the community can choose how to achieve those goals. These goals are not based on the population size of your community.

Areas of Engagement
  • Education and Outreach Projects -  40 (min.) project points required 
  • Community Conservation Projects - 50 (min.) project points required
  • Volunteer Trainings - 10 (min.) project points required 
  • Partnerships - 20 (min.) project points required

When you have accomplished your goals and are ready to certify, you will assemble documentation on each of your accomplishments for your final report, which demonstrates your success in each of these areas. NWF staff members will check in with you regularly to see how you are doing on meeting your goals and to help track your progress.  

Review the full list of suggested projects and minimum points required.


Ready to Get Started? 

Register today!


Additional Resources:
  • View a recorded webinar about the Community Wildlife Habitat program and how to get started.
  • Download a fact sheet about the program
  • View the frequently asked questions about the program

Need help or have questions?  Contact us at community@nwf.org or 703-438-6000 (Ask for Community Wildlife Program)

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Interested? Tell us a little more about your community. A NWF staff member will be in contact with you within 5 business days.

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