Learn How to Garden for Wildlife

NWF   |   April 12, 2018

The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program offers a wide variety of resources to help you create beautiful landscapes and other garden spaces that support birds, butterflies, bees and other backyard wildlife. Now is the perfect time to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Garden for Wildlife by planning your own wildlife habitat garden. Here’s how to get started:

Garden for Wildlife Website

Attract birds with native plants. Photo by Randy Streufert via NWF Photo Contest.

Our website is your first stop for information on all the basics on how to start creating a wildlife habitat garden. Some key resources include:

It’s also where you can apply to have your wildlife habitat garden recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and to get our exclusive yard signs that celebrate your efforts while sharing the importance of planting for wildlife with others.

Posting a Certified Wildlife Habitat sign celebrates your effort to help local wildlife and spreads the Garden for Wildlife message.


Our books will give you step-by-step how-to instructions on attracting wildlife.

We’ve currently got two books in print focused on gardening for wildlife. The first is our Naturalist David Mizejewski’s award-winning how-to book Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife that covers all of the basics of habitat gardening and includes plant lists, illustrates and dozens of gorgeous photos wildlife and habitat gardens.

New for 2018 is our publication Wildlife Gardening: Tips for Fours Seasons which collects some of the best articles wildlife gardening tips from National Wildlife magazine.

You might also be able to find vintage copies of The Backyard Naturalist and Gardening for Wildlife, both long out of print books by our longtime Chief Naturalist Craig Tufts, who helped shepherd the program for over thirty years.

Newsletter, Blogs, Articles and Social Media Communities

Sign up for our free Garden for Wildlife e-newsletter to get all the latest news and expert tips from the National Wildlife Federation each month. When you subscribe, you’ll be entered to win some great garden for wildlife prizes.

We also have wildlife habitat gardening channels on both our blog and National Wildlife magazine’s website. Bookmark them get our latest articles to help you attract more wildlife. You can also join our Garden for Wildlife community on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Our social media communities are great places to interact with each other and ask us specific questions about your own wildlife habitat garden

Products To Attract Wildlife

National Wildlife catalog carries a wide variety of products to help you attract birds to your yard.

National Wildlife catalog carries a whole range of items to help you provide the four components of habitat–food, water, cover and places to raise young. From birdbaths, feeders, and bee houses to wild bird nesting boxes, toad abodes and bat houses you can fill your yard with ornamental features that will help attract local wildlife.

Many of our products are made in the U.S.A. and all proceeds from sales go to support our wildlife conservation programs.

Other Habitat Garden Opportunities

You can create a wildlife habitat garden anywhere, not just in a backyard. Find out how to turn your kids’ or grandkids’ school grounds into a “Schoolyard Habitat” that not only supports wildlife but is used as an outdoor classroom through our Eco-Schools U.S.A. program. There’s an online library of step-by-step videos and curriculum guides for educators that address every aspect of creating wildlife-friendly spaces at educational facilities.

Elementary school students in Alexandria, Virginia explore the pond in their Schoolyard Habitat.

You can also learn how to start a Community Wildlife Habitat project to create hundreds or even thousands of wildlife habitat gardens through your entire community. Participating communities have access to “member-only” resources like template displays and brochures, as well as best practices for events like hosting a Certified Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour.

Our Trees for Wildlife program offers free native tree seedlings to Community Wildlife Habitats, Schoolyard Habitats and Eco-Schools for spring and fall plantings.

Many of the National Wildlife Federation’s state affiliates are involved supporting the effort to create wildlife habitat gardens locally throughout their states.

Get Started Today


Published: April 12, 2018