City of Falls Church Becomes an NWF Certified Community Wildlife Habitat
Celebration on Saturday, September 19
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 -- Leading a nationwide trend in community concern for habitat loss, the City of Falls Church has been officially designated a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Community Wildlife Habitat. The community is invited to a celebration on Saturday, September 19 at 10:30 a.m. on the steps of Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave.).
NWF commends the dedicated residents of City of Falls Church and the Healthy Habitat Project team for their wildlife conservation efforts and for coming together for a common purpose—to create a community where people and wildlife can flourish. The City of Falls Church stands out as a model for other communities to emulate. The knowledge and inspiration that this project has generated will lead City of Falls Church residents and visitors to take better care of their natural world.
The City of Falls Church Healthy Habitat Project is sponsored by the Environmental Services Council (www.fallschurchva.gov/ESC) and is endorsed by the City Council (Resolution 2005-28). It was initiated in 2005 and includes several City departments—Public Works, Recreation and Parks, and the Mary Riley Styles Public Library--community organizations like the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS), citizen volunteers, and individual homeowners. Some of the combined efforts that helped the City reach its goals include:
139 homeowners certified their backyards as wildlife habitats with the NWF (www.nwf.org/Certify)
City staff regularly promoted the project through the City website and environmental publications.
The City built five rain gardens and has done continual restoration of many of the City parks so they could be certified as wildlife habitats.
Individual citizens have organized invasive plant pulls, composting workshops, and educational workshops in conjunction with City staff.
“Providing a home for wildlife in our cities – whether it’s at home, or in schools, businesses or parks – is the demonstration of a healthy and active eco-system. There is no more rewarding way to stay connected to nature right outside your door,” said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation.
The City is the 84th community in the country and the 8th community in Virginia to receive this honor. (Arlington County, Reston, Mason District in Fairfax County, South Riding, and Great Falls are also honorees.) A Community Wildlife Habitat project creates multiple habitat areas in backyards, schoolyards, corporate properties, community gardens, parkland and other spaces.
About the National Wildlife Federation
NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program has been helping people take personal action on behalf of wildlife for more than 40 years. The program engages homeowners, businesses, schools, churches, parks and other institutions that want to make their communities wildlife-friendly.
The Community Wildlife Habitat project is part of NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. These projects benefit the entire community of plants, wildlife, and people through the creation of sustainable landscapes that require little or no pesticides, fertilizers, and excess watering. These landscapes help keep water and air resources clean. They are healthier for people and the environment, and are less resource-dependent than conventional landscapes. Habitat landscapes can serve to beautify our urban areas and give residents pride in their neighborhoods. For more information, please go to www.nwf.org/community. For more National Wildlife Federation news, visit www.nwf.org/news.