Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

My garden was certified!

It took me a while, but I applied, and my garden was certified as a National Wildlife Habitat. The certification was FREE through the City of Austin. You can see my certificate below. The process involves emailing Erin Cord, Wildlife Austin Park Ranger, who will send you a pre-paid application form. It is a one-page application in which you answer questions regarding the garden / patio / space that you want certified. Essentially, your answers will show that you are meeting the four expectations of a wildlife habitat:

  • food
  • water
  • cover
  • places to raise young

I certified my front garden. Here are some examples of the ways my garden meets the expectations.

  • Food: berries (chile piquin), nectar (butterfly weed, sage, lavender, firebush, Gregg’s mistflower, wildflowers)
  • Water: birdbath refilled every day in summer; 2-3 days in winter
  • Cover: Chile piquin bush, Big Muhly
  • Places to raise young: Big Muhly, Gulf Muhly, Butterfly weed

The wildlife I see in the garden include: bees, birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It’s a much better place than the former flat grassy area. I want to hang out there as much as possible.

If you want a tour or help in making a space at your house into a wildlife habitat, I’m available free to help you out. Just let me know!


Pictures of Certificate of Certified Wildlife Habitat


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