Alpharetta's Wild Side

City Resolution: National Community Wildlife Habitat

 

What is it?

Alpharetta’s Wild Side is a program sponsored by the Alpharetta Natural Resources Commission to promote the preservation of green spaces in Alpharetta that support wildlife.  A goal of Alpharetta’s  Wild Side is  for Alpharetta to achieve and maintain certification by the National Wildlife Federation as a Community Wildlife Habitat.  The focus of the program is to use native plants as habitats for pollinators and other neighborhood-friendly animals.  Certification also requires community projects and educational workshops.  See the Points Chart below for the specific requirements.  For more information see www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife.


Why is it important?

The Alpharetta City Council decided to pursue certification as a Community Wildlife Habitat because it will enhance Alpharetta as a residential community in several ways.  See [link to council resolution.]  Most importantly, this program will increase the diversity and resiliency of native plants and wildlife which in turn will create a healthier environment by improving the quality of our air and water.


How can you help? 

The requirements for registration are simple: food, water and shelter that support wildlife and two sustainable gardening practices such as mulch and reducing water use.

You can join the team that of volunteers that is developing and overseeing a plan to meet the certification requirements.  Simply send an email to alpharettaswildside@gmail.com or call 770-828-5774 to join or ask questions.

Even if you do not join the team, you can still help Alpharetta achieve certification by registering your yard with the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat.  The requirements for registration are simple: food, water and shelter for the wildlife species you are trying to attract, including space to raise their young.  If you have any wildlife in your yard, you probably already meet the requirements.  For more information and to register your yard, see http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create-a-Habitat.aspx

As community activities for Alpharetta’s Wild Side are planned, including workshops on how to create a wildlife habitat, information will be available on our Facebook page.


 

Points Chart

In order to be certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Community Wildlife Habitat, Alpharetta needs to accumulate the following points:

Wildlife habitats.  A minimum of 300 points is required as follows:

At least 200 homes @ 1 point each
At least 6 common areas @ 3 points each
At least 5 schools @ 5 points each  

Community programs.  The minimum points required are:  

Community Education     40
Community Projects     50

Alpharetta must also accumulate an additional 50 points each year after it is certified. 

 


 

Links To Resources:


Videos

Below are links to a series of 7 very short habitat certification videos posted by the NWF on YouTube:

1. Why Garden for Wildlife? 
2. Providing Food
3. Water 
4. Shelter/Cover
5. Places To Raise Young
6. Sustainable Practices
7. Certifying Your Yard


Native Plants In Georgia

Native Plant Brochure

Georgia Native Plant Society: http://www.gnps.org
Georgia Perimeter College: http://gpcnativegarden.org
Where to buy: http://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=GA
 

Gardening For Wildlife
http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/Using-Native-Plants.aspx
http://www.ehow.com/info_8356694_native-plants-attract-birds.html
http://web4.audubon.org/bird/at_home/Plants.html
http://nababutterfly.com/
http://beekind.bumblebeeconservation.org/
http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/Build-a-Bat-House.aspx
http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/why_bats_matter.html
Where to buy milkweed: http://www.eealliance.org/resources---where-to-buy-milkweed 
Milkweed field guide: http://www.eealliance.org/assets/Documents/MAG/field_guide.pdf