Do you see some creepy crawly bugs in the garden and wonder if they are friend or foe? Find out the benefits of rollie pollies and other bugs that will surprise you.

Make your Garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat!

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Pollinators are rapidly declining and we need them to survive. Make your garden a certified wildlife habitat and help pollinators thrive. It’s the best thing you can do with your land! Find out more about gardening for beginners here.

Bumblebee on a sunflower and a monarch butterfly fresh from the chrysalis on a zinnia

There are many types of pollinators. Most of the time when we think of the word, we think of bees, and bees are in trouble, but there are many other species including birds, butterflies, wasps, and flies that do much of the pollinating work as well.

wildlife habitat, butterfly on zinnias

One out of every three bites of food consumed in America comes from a plant visited by a pollinator. These crops include:

  • Stone fruits
  • Melons
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
wildlife habitat bee on sunflower

How to be a certified wildlife habitat

So what should we do about it? What would it take to help our local wildlife thrive and increase in numbers? What do they need to survive?

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. A safe place to raise young
  4. Water

Even if you live on a small lot, your actions can make a difference to someone other than yourself. Wildlife is not just deer, rabbits, squirrels and other animals. There are a plethora of beneficial insects and life forms that you may never notice that play a critical role in our own survival.

Every time another plot of land is cleared to build on, many habitats are destroyed. This is slowly making populations decline. Populations that WE need! There are many invasive species of imported plants crowding out the native species as well.

Then on top of that, we are pouring chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides on our land in epic proportions. This is destroying the beneficial creatures along with the pests and it’s destroying even more habitats our beneficials need to survive. Add it all together and we have a big problem on our hands.

Exposure and education are key. Spend some time learning about something you could do to help. Learn about the life cycles of the beneficial creatures in your area. Call your county extension office to get information or do some research online. We can all learn more and do more to help!

Pollinator garden certification

Last year at Little Sprouts, we purchased a monarch waystation kit to plant native species that would attract and feed endangered monarchs. This year we decided to get certified as a monarch waystation. Click here to purchase your own monarch waystation kit or to see how to get certified yourself.

monarch caterpillar, wildlife habitat in preschool garden
monarch on sunflower, wildlife habitat

This year we signed up to be butterfly heroes. Click here to see what the program included. We got free milkweed seeds for participating in the program. How exciting to think about helping Monarchs have a place to rest, fuel up, and feed their young. We LOVE pollinators, especially Monarchs!

We want to take the Million Pollinator Challenge to help all kinds of pollinators survive. Click here to check it out.

cascadian farm bee friendly campaign

We took it a step further and got certified by the National Wildlife Federation to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat by providing a pollinator and wildlife-friendly habitat.

In order to get certified, you have to plant native species that help pollinators, as well as provide a chemical-free breeding and feeding area for species to live.

Pollinators need a water source, shelter, food, and safe places to lay their eggs.

bee, wildlife habitat

Butterfly habitat

We have enjoyed so many kinds of wildlife in our garden, it’s amazing to see the variety of animals and insects we have gotten to learn about. We even see deer around our garden, luckily none have been feeding there yet. I know they can decimate a garden in no time. We plant a lot of lavender in our garden to repel them from coming inside the fence.

praying mantis, wildlife habitat

We are so excited to be part of the change the world needs to see in protecting our native pollinators from further decline. We urge you to make your yard into a wildlife habitat that can protect and nurture many different types of nature.

It’s amazing to see so many beautiful creatures thriving in your yard. Let’s protect our pollinators so they will continue to help feed us by pollinating our food sources.

Check out this super fun idea for a bee garden from old pallets from Compost and Cava. 

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  1. This is SOOO important. Our food system is needs a major overhaul to solve this problem. I try to plant a Lot of flowers around my veggies and refuse to use anything on my plants that might hurt the bees. My son’s class has been talking about it a lot too. Hope it isn’t too late to fix all the damage that has been done!

    1. Thank you for doing your part! It is of paramount importance, you are right. I hope it’s not too late either. 🙁 So sad what we’ve done.

  2. This is a wonderful post. I fully believe in creating wildlife friendly environments in our yards as much as we can. I was stung 15 times by yellow jackets (It was the camp counselor’s fault not the yellow jackets. She let the kids hit sticks and one stick landed on the nest.) After that happened to me I was determined to find a good reason for yellow jackets to exist. I discovered that every native creature, no matter how annoying, benefits our environment.

    1. They sure do. That’s amazing that you had that perspective on it. 🙂 I love it! Thanks for reading!