Certified Wildlife Habitat - Iowa Wildlife Federation

Certified Wildlife Habitat®

Certified Wildlife Habitat®

In a few easy steps, you can make a big difference for local wildlife!  Entice pollinators, like hummingbirds and butterflies, by transforming your outdoor space into a sanctuary enjoyed by humans and animals alike.  It all starts with the end in mind by creating a plan for the space that you will transform. 

Through the Certified Wildlife Habitat® program, you can work with the National Wildlife Federation and Iowa Wildlife Federation to turn yards, neighborhoodsschoolyards, work landscapes, places of worship, and roadside green spaces into havens for Iowa’s wildlife.

Earning your certification is easier than you think! 

When you post a sign around a habitat area indicating that it is intentional, you likely preempt comments and/or complaints about that habitat area looking “unkempt.” You also educate passersby and help IWF achieve its habitat conservation goals. One benefit of certifying with NWF is the well-designed sign.

If you have any questions about Backyard Wildlife Habitats and how you can get involved, please email Ryan Smith or call our office at (515)419-1839.

Your Wildlife Garden Should Include:


Native plants provide food eaten by a variety of wildlife. Feeders can supplement natural food sources.


All animals need water to survive, and some need it for bathing or breeding as well.


Wildlife need places to take shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or hunt for prey.

Places To Raise Young

Wildlife need resources to reproduce, and to protect and nourish their young.

Sustainable Practices

Maintain your yard or garden in natural ways to ensure soil, air, and water stay healthy and clean.

Transform Your Space Into a Wildlife Sanctuary

Get started! Here are some simple ideas that can start transforming your space into a wildlife sanctuary.

  • Plant a simple garden with native flowers that provide nectar for pollinators.
  • Create a balcony garden with a variety of flowerpots to hold flowers and herbs.
  • Transform a mowed grassy area into a milkweed patch with native grasses.
  • Plant native trees and shrubs that produce berries and seeds to attract a variety of birds and wildlife.
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