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Defining your Community:  Community Designated Project


Towns, cities, hamlets or communities with populations more than 5,000 comprise Community Wildlife Habitats. You will need to achieve the two primary goals and outcomes for the program--certify properties and engage and educate your community.

The benchmark goals for certification for this project type will vary based on population. The number of certifications and types of properties will also vary based on your community composition. Generally, the following types of properties will need to be certified in the community:  residences, local government facilities, businesses, schools, parks, places of worship, and other sites.  The number of properties of any given type will vary based on population. View the benchmark goals by population. 

Additionally, community projects will also need to meet the minimum engagement goals.

Community certification represents the largest number of registered and certified projects with National Wildlife Federation.  Of the 75 certified projects, 90% represent this category of certification.


Meet a Few of our Community Projects

Nibley City, UT

Nibley City is located near Logan in Northern Utah's Cache County, is a fast growing community with a current population of 5600.  The county is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains approaching 10,000'. 

Like most places in the scenic West, our population growth and development has negative impacts on wildlife.  Twenty of us decided to certify our own properties with NWF and to recruit others so that Nibley could become Utah's first certified community as an ensign to others across our State.  We meet monthly and sponsor monthly activities/projects suited to improve wildlife habitat.  We have had a great relationship with our City Officials who now ask us for advice on developing new Parks.  Our Mayor and the City Council are now certifying their properties as well. 

Our activities include a free flower/seed exchange, songbird identification workshop, birdhouse building contest, wildlife photography contest, rainwater harvest workshop, planting projects, booths at our local Gardener's Market, tours of certified properties.....even prompting our City Council to ban all hunting on city-owned properties.  Our affiliation with the National Wildlife Federation has given our group a well recognized name, and an identity that is now known throughout our county.  And we are just getting started!

 Ron, Community Wildlife Habitat Team Leader, Nibley City


Chula Vista, CA

Chula Vista is the second largest city in San Diego County. Located seven mile south of downtown San Diego and seven miles north of one of the world's busiest international border crossings, Chula Vista is at the crossroads of the region. From a scenic bay front that stretches along the coast to the communities and majestic San Miguel Mountain in the east. Chula Vista is a biodiversity hotspot with over 5,000 acres of protected open space habitat.  

By working with our residents to encourage them to make their own yards habitat for the many species that call Chula Vista home we are able to expand the opportunities for wildlife in our community.  We also utilize our interactions with our residents and business to stress the importance of water conservation, because we typically receive less than 10-inches of average annual rainfall, conserving water is very important to minimizing water imports and the impacts they have on the ecosystems where the water is coming from. 

To support these important goals we host regular workshops on topics such as how to establish a wildlife friendly habitat in your back yard (even if you only have a balcony!), how to compost, how to install a “laundry to landscape” gray water re-use system, how to install a rain water collection system and how community gardens can be wildlife habitat.     

Cory, City of Chula Vista, Community Wildlife Habitat Team Leader 


Austin, TX

The city of Austin, located on the Blackland Prairies and Edwards Plateau ecoregions in central Texas, is home to over 850,000 people.  It is also the site of the largest number of certified Wildlife Habitats in the country. 

In 2007, the Austin City Council passed a resolution called the Climate Protection Plan with the ultimate goal of making Austin carbon neutral by 2020.  There are five parts to the Climate Protection Plan:  Municipal, Utility, Homes and Building, Community and “Go Neutral” plans. 

As part of the Community Plan, the Wildlife Austin Program helped to achieve and maintain the Community Wildlife Habitat certification for the city as well as facilitate community involvement in various wildlife habitat projects.  Becoming certified has helped Austin create valuable wildlife habitat, increase native plant use and sequester carbon. 

We hope to continue to further involve the community in increasing our number of certified habitats as well as increase our number of volunteers under NWF's Habitat Stewards volunteer opportunity.

 Lauren, City of Austin - Parks and Recreation Division, Community Wildlife Habitat Team Leader


Ready to Sign Up? 

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Learn more about activities and goals towards certification.

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

How do they do it? Find other Certified or Registered Communities near you.

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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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