82 Mukilteo backyards certified, 68 to go

By Janet Carroll, Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project | Feb 23, 2011

Photo courtesy of Janet Carroll

 You can help your wildlife friends, and your community as well, by getting your home certified as a Wildlife Habitat.

The Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project is in its second year, working toward certifying Mukilteo as a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat. 

Eighty-two wonderful Mukilteo residents have certified their backyards; we need to certify 68 more to certify the city.

Certify your yard

Get a copy of the Habitat Certification Application from the Mukilteo Library, our Web site at http://www.mukilteowildlife.org under “How to get your yard certified,” or contact me at mukilteowildilfe@gmail.com.

Check your property to see if you have some of each of the five habitat elements:  food, water, cover, nesting places, and use of sustainable yard care practices.  Each is explained on the application.

Fill out the application and check off at least one or two features listed in the habitat-element categories.

Send the completed application to National Wildlife Federation, including a check for $20.

If your property contains a natural, wooded area or a landscaped yard with trees, shrubs and groundcover; you use compost or remove noxious weeds; and you have a source of water, then you are ready to be certified.  

If you lack the water source – use a terracotta pot and saucer with the saucer holding water and the pot holding the saucer.  

If you live in an apartment and have a balcony, you can hang a birdbath, bird feeder, and nest box from the balcony. Use a flower box or big pots filled with flowers or other plants that are enjoyed by wildlife.  You too can get certified.

Once certified, you will get a backyard sanctuary sign and a year’s subscription to National Wildlife Federation Magazine.  

Please take the time now, before you forget, to get an application form and get your yard, patio or balcony certified.  

Every month we get a record from National Wildlife Federation telling us who got certified. We will personally thank you.

Certify your school

In addition to backyards, we also need to certify four schoolyards.  

We are looking for help in doing this through our local scout troops, PTOs or preschools.  

If you have a Boy or Girl Scout troop that is interested in working on this project, it will be a learning experience and an easy way to get a merit badge.  

All you have to do is learn about certifying wildlife habitat, take a field trip to your school to determine which habitat elements are on your school grounds, and if you do have the habitat, give us the form and we will send it in for you.

 We will provide the $20 fee and a Certified Wildlife Habitat sign to place on school property.  

If you are a PTO member, e-mail me at mukilteowildlife@gmail.com if you want to work with us to get your school certified.  Of course, you have to get permission from the school principal for this activity.  

Pre-schools can also get certified.  Please contact us.

Certify your business, church, or homeowner’s association NGPA

We are happy to report that we now have 57 points for certifying public places and want to thank the city of Mukilteo and the Japanese Gulch Group for working together to get all the city-owned, natural-habitat properties certified and also to the four other owners of farms, NGPAs and businesses for getting their property certified.  

Businesses, churches, and homeowners’ associations get their certification using the same standards as other yards.

We are on the final leg of our journey to join Edmonds, Fidalgo Island/Anacortes, Lake Forest Park, Camano Island, Tukwila, Alki, Kirkland, Bellingham, Skagit Valley, Bainbridge Island, and Shoreline as a Community Wildlife Habitat.

Help us add Mukilteo to that list. Fill out the certification form and send it in now or contact me for further information.

Janet Carroll is a member of the Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project, which has a goal of certifying Mukilteo as a community wildlife habitat.  Help Mukilteo get community certification by certifying your own yard.  For more information on the project, go to www.mukilteowildlife.org.

Do you have questions about how to get rid of noxious weed?  E-mail Carroll at HYPERLINK "mailto:mukilteowildlife@gmail.com"mukilteowildlife@gmail.com.
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