National Wildlife Federation Lists Charlotte Second Place In the Nation for Cities Gardening for Wildlife

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Recently, the National Wildlife Federation recognized Charlotte, NC in a Top Five Cities That Garden for Wildlife blogand The Queen City came in at second place in the nation! Keep reading to find out how the Charlotte Wildlife Stewards work hard to improve habitat for the betterment of wildlife in their state.

– Blog written by Mary Phillips, National Wildlife Federation:

Charlotte, with 1,561 certifications, is a natural result of its network of Charlotte Wildlife Stewards, a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF), which succeeded in making the city an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat in 2015. An additional 6 other Community Wildlife Habitats in neighborhoods including Lake Norman, Concord, Matthews, and Marvin helped the Charlotte metro area reach 4,843 certifications in total. Stonehaven is very close to meeting their Community Wildlife Habitat requirements, and Sun City contributes where the Charlotte metro area overlaps South Carolina. 167 Schoolyard Habitats engage youth and educators in providing wildlife habitat in Charlotte.

Charlotte’s certifications are essential in supporting the native flora and fauna of the Piedmont ecoregion, such as the Carolina wren and Eastern box turtle. Understory shrubs and trees, like Carolina Allspice (Calycanthus floridus), Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina), and Sweet Azalea (Rhododendron arborescens), are often local wildlife gardeners’ native favorites. Flowering perennial favorites in this city can include Swamp or Red Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), and Carolina Phlox (Phlox carolina).

Charlotte recently became a Mayors’ Monarch Pledge city, promoting wildlife-friendly gardening by planting milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants in medians, public rights-of-way, and other prominent or culturally significant community locations. Greater Charlotte communities of Concord, Matthews, and Gastonia are also Mayors’ Monarch Pledge signatories, and 24 communities across Charlotte are promoting certifications and sustainable landscapes as part of NWF’s partnership with homebuilder Taylor Morrison.

A notable Charlotte Certified Wildlife Habitat® is S.E.E.D/Children’s Garden at Winghaven, a public garden with 100% native plants offering activity centers for budding naturalists to explore and participate in educational programs and events.

Charlotte contributes to over 14,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats statewide promoted by North Carolina Wildlife Federation. NCWF is also an advocate of the Native Plants Act, a crucial bill for the health, natural identity, and culture of North Carolina’s wildlife and habitat. NCWF provides programs such as The Butterfly Highway, an initiative that aims to restore native pollinator habitats to areas impacted by urbanization.

Charlotte Wildlife Stewards inspire new wildlife gardeners on land and in the water! They are hosting Wild on the Water on June 3rd – a paddle where naturalists teach about local plant and wildlife species.

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