Eustis, FL – October 16, 2023 – The National Wildlife Federation(NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased that the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lake County (UUCLC) has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat through its Garden for Wildlife program. In addition, UUCLC’s habitat has been co-certified with NWF’s state affiliate, the Florida WIldlife Foundation.
NWF celebrates this effort to create a garden that supports birds, butterflies, bees, frogs and other local wildlife. Every Certified WIldlife Habitat garden provides natural resources of food, water, cover and places to raise young and is maintained in a sustainable way that incorporates native plants, conserves water and doesn’t rely on pesticides.
For over 45 years, the Garden for WIldlife movement has recognized over 227,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat gardens across the United States to date, encompassing more than 2.5 million acres that support wildlife locally. Backyards, urban gardens, school grounds, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms, zoos, and community landscapes can all be recognized as wildlife habitats through the program.
“Anyone, anywhere can restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and communities,” said NWF Naturalist David Mizejewski. “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an urban area or a rural plot of land, you can make a difference for local wildlife. Creating a Certified Wildlife garden is fun, easy and makes a real difference for neighborhood wildlife. It’s the perfect grassroots way to think globally and act locally and help birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife, “ he added.
UUCLC has a Congregational Initiative of Conservation. The garden committee was formed to create A Memorial Garden featuring native plants for pollinators. The intent of the garden is to be a place: of remembrance; of peace to nourish one’s mind, body, and spirit; to observe birds, bees, butterflies and nature; as well as a demonstration of native habitat landscaping, that benefits both people and the environment and incorporates some of the principles of eco-landscaping. The garden features a variety of native wildflowers and plants to attract birds, bees, and butterflies. Some of plants: Wild Coffee, St. Andrew’s Cross, Rouge plant, Coontie, Snow Squarestem, Wild Sage, Simpson Stopper, Lopsided Indian grass, Muhly grass, Elliot’s love grass, Purple love grass, Flatwoods plum, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Beach Sunflower, Goldenrod, Blanketflower, Wild Petunia, Beautyberry, Firebush, Privet Senna, Sunshine Mimosa, and Tropical Salvia. Most of the plants are labeled. There is an infinity path to walk in the garden and bench to sit and reflect, remember, relax and observe nature. It is open to the public during the day at 1235 Mt. Homer Rd Eustis.
For more information on NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and how to qualify to have a garden space recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, visit www.nwf.org/garden or call 1-800-822-9919.