Garden for Wildife is a true team effort of individuals, businesses, schools, communities, religious institutions, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The National Wildlife Federation has been working hard with key partners, providing leadership in collaboratives and expanding outreach through our State Affiliates to expand and restore critical habitat on the ground.
Dr. Doug Tallamy is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. A renowned expert in the science of plant-insect interactions, Dr. Tallamy’s research is the foundation of The National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder. He is passionate about helping people create wildlife habitat in their own backyards and gardens. In addition to his many scientific publications, Doug has written Natures Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard; Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants; and co-authored The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden.
The National Wildlife Federation has decades’ long partnerships with many of the zoos and aquariums that make up the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) network. Over 50 accredited zoos and aquariums are registered as Certified Wildlife Habitats®. In 2018, the National Wildlife Federation renewed this relationship through a formal agreement that affirms our common goals of restoring healthy fish and wildlife populations, conserving native habitats and engaging the public in these efforts.
Since 2017, GrowIt! has been an active supporter each May in Garden for Wildlife Month to help show the GrowIt! community and all of North America how to have a beautiful garden that is also healthy habitat for wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation encourages its wildlife gardeners to contribute the to the #Garden4Wildlife community with pictures of native plants, habitat features, and wildlife.
The National Wildlife Federation and The Links, Incorporated are working together to engage youth and community members to restore and enhance wildlife habitat where they live and learn, play and/or worship through Garden for Wildlife activities, conservation, and STEM. The partnership also advocates for conservation, environmental justice and climate change policies beneficial to wildlife and people.
The National Wildlife Federation and the National Garden Club, Inc. (NGC) have worked together for many years, gardening for wildlife in a variety of states, including launching efforts of several Community Wildlife Habitats™. Since 2015, our two organizations have worked together in creating more gardens for wildlife and supporting the NGC’s Bee a Wildlife Action Hero initiative and pollinator work.
The National Wildlife Federation and Pollinator Partnership have worked together since the inception of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign in 1999. Both organizations are two of the co-founders of the National Pollinator Garden Network and coordinate closely to provide in kind online platforms for the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to allow the public to register their gardens and access partner resources.
The Smithsonian Institution is collecting stories about gardens, green spaces, and gardening history. Community of Gardens is the Smithsonian’s digital home for preserving stories of gardens and the gardeners who make them grow. The National Wildlife Federation encourages its wildlife gardeners to contribute anecdotes about their habitat gardens or memorable moments spent gardening for wildlife. Share your stories.
The partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has served as a catalyst for national collaboration on monarch butterfly conservation, particularly in planting native milkweed and nectar plants, the primary food sources in breeding and migration habitats for the butterfly.
The National Wildlife Federation and the Xerces Society partner in several projects together related to monarch and pollinator conservation. One such project resulted in regional monarch-specific nectar plant guides for the continental United States. This partnership, led by the Xerces Society with the National Wildlife Federation and the Monarch Joint Venture, is based on monarch nectaring observations compiled from numerous sources, including published and technical reports, research datasets, and personal communications with monarch researchers, botanists, and other experts.
In response to growing threats to pollinators, the National Wildlife Federation took a lead in co-founding the National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN), and has helped launch the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to mobilize and educate millions of Americans on the need to plant sustainable pollinator garden habitat. Co-founders of the NPGN include AmericanHort, Association of American Public Gardens, American Seed Trade Association, Kids Gardening, The National Garden Bureau, and Pollinator Partnership. This unprecedented collaboration consists of over 50 national organizations representing conservation groups, voluntary civic clubs, the garden trade, and federal agencies, which collectively reach millions of members, volunteers, and professionals engaged in creating pollinator habitat and educating and inspiring others to do the same. This effort began as a public/private response to support the White House’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.
The Native Plant Finder launched through a joint partnership among the United States Forest Service, the National Wildlife Federation, and the University of Delaware’s Professor Doug Tallamy to help gardeners, conservationists, and other wildlife professionals access the best native plants for attracting butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) to host their young (caterpillars). Caterpillars are a critically important food source for birds to raise their young. This native plant database includes 4,000 woody and herbaceous plants nationwide and allows visitors to retrieve a list of the top 10 plants that attract the most Lepidoptera for their county and state.
The Native Plant Finder collaborative has expanded to involve native plant and entomology experts and natural resources professionals that promote and provide input for application of the tool in garden and habitat restoration in their state and region.
The Monarch Joint Venture is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental agencies, and academic programs working together to protect monarchs and their migration. Its partners are experts in the fields of monarch conservation and education and are working to make colossal progress toward the ultimate goal of monarch conservation in the United States.
Since 2014, the National Wildlife Federation has been on the steering committee of the Monarch Joint Venture and partners to strengthen monarch and pollinator conservation across North America.
The National Wildlife Federation broadened its monarch work by joining the tri-national efforts of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, which helped expand the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to Canada and Mexico in 2017. The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge encourages mayors and other local government chief executives to take community-wide actions to help save the monarch butterfly.
The State Department supported the potential for Department-owned properties with pollinator / native plant gardens to be recognized as a wildlife habitat.
Nineteen embassies, consulates, missions, and ambassador’s residences have already received National Wildlife Federation Habitat Certifications in recognition of the biologically diverse and wildlife friendly nature of the facilities. The Department will seek, subject to the availability of resources, to have additional missions certified.