Texas Woman Makes a Difference for Local Wildlife
If a single person can make a difference for wildlife, imagine, the difference a whole community can make. Margaret Whitt, a retired public school teacher, is turning that vision into a reality as she transforms her community into a welcoming home for native wildlife.
At a young age, Ms. Whitt connected deeply with the life that surrounded her. “On rainy days, I used to rescue drowning worms on the sidewalk and this is something I still do to this day. I have a soft spot for God’s creations. We are put on this earth to help care for those who need it most.” This drives her passion for the voiceless: our wildlife.
Through Ms. Whitt’s love of wildlife, she was introduced to the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ program. She first joined with the over 215,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat™ spread across the country in 2009. Ms. Whitt, who lives in Murphy, Texas, known for its parks and wildlife, shares “certifying a wildlife habitat is easy, and serves as a visual reminder to communities to preserve nature as best we can. People stop and ask questions about the signs — it is a great conversation starter and allows me to share my passion with others.”
After certifying her own wildlife habitat, Ms. Whitt saw the opportunity to go further. She has since personally certified six other habitats, including the Timbers Nature Preserve in her hometown of Murphy. The preserve has a beautiful array of natural offerings such as a pond, a 50-pound beaver, coyotes, bobcats, possums, raccoons, and many bird species.
Ms. Whitt collaborated with community leaders, overcoming some initial objections, to certify the landscape. As she explains, “by allocating areas where sunflower seeds can be spread and creating gardens for pollinators and other wildlife, we limit the labor to maintain the meadows while providing habitat.”
The National Wildlife Federation couldn’t agree more, which is why we teamed up with Beesponsible, a cause to inspire and empower action on behalf of declining bee populations, to create bee-friendly gardens. This initiative, like Ms. Whitt, has encouraged communities to get their hands dirty by building habitats that benefit not only pollinators but other wildlife that thrive in these landscapes.
Ms. Whitt encourages others to donate to causes that align with their own personal passions. “Donating is a wonderful thing to do. When you find the mission you support, spread the message throughout your community.” Her advice to others looking to make a difference in their communities: “Ask questions. This engages the community to stop and listen. By creating innovative solutions that benefit everyone, we can make a real difference. It just takes someone willing to plant seeds: sometimes literal seeds and sometimes seeds of an idea.”
Ms. Whitt is truly a community leader who has spearheaded change and helped create a natural world for all creatures to live in harmony. On behalf of wildlife across the country, and her partners at the National Wildlife Federation, thank you Margaret Whitt!Learn more about Garden For Wildlife