LONGS—The property of Holy Trinity Catholic School has been certified as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat site, according to the S.C. Wildlife Federation.
Growth on the land attracts a variety of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife while helping to protect the local environment, according to a press release from the wildlife federation.
With the help of the federation, many wildlife enthusiasts across the state have been recognized for turning their yards and garden spaces into sustainable and healthy havens for neighborhood wildlife by providing food, water, cover, and places to raise their young.
The National Wildlife Federation began the program in 1973, and has certified over 110,000 habitats nationwide.
South Carolina has the most certified Backyard Wildlife Habitats per capita in the country, with over 5,000. The majority of these sites represent the hard work and commitment of individuals and families who have provided habitats around their homes.
In addition, the wildlife group has also certified more than 1,000 schools and hundreds of business and community sites.
Certified habitats can be found everywhere from places of worship to corporate buildings. Any wildlife supporter can create a certified habitat and learn the rewards of gardening for wildlife. The average habitat is between one-third and one-half of an acre, but certified sites can range from a balcony to thousands of acres.
Locally, the federation teaches the importance of environmental stewardship by providing guidelines for making landscapes more hospitable for wildlife.
Habitat restoration is critical in settings where commercial and residential development encroaches on nature.
In addition to providing for wildlife, certified habitats conserve natural resources by reducing or eliminating the need for fertilizers, pesticides or irrigation, which ultimately protects the air, soil and water throughout our communities.
Both the state and national wildlife federations offer local information on region-specific plants and wildlife species. Visit www.scwf.org or call (803) 256-0670 for training workshops on the process of creating wildlife habitat gardens at home, school, and elsewhere in the community.