Functional backyard wildlife habitats include three things: food, water, and cover. Provision of food and cover typically includes planting native vegetation on which local wildlife can thrive and incorporating thickets, shrubs, trees, and other vegetation. The sustainable gardening practices encouraged by the Natural Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat Program encourages practices that hold water on your property, encourage the transfer of water from the surface water system, and often incorporate many of the practices identified as ways to Help the Hellbender.
Native plants, native trees, green roofs, rain gardens, and bioswales all provide food and cover for wildlife, while rain gardens and rain barrels can be used to supply water for wildlife. Organizations such as the National Wildlife Federation and Indiana Wildlife Federation have certification and recognition programs for homeowners and businesses who create functional backyard wildlife habitats. See more information about those programs in the links below:
National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat CertificationIndiana Wildlife Federation