A 'project' for the CANADIAN winter months

knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)January 9, 2007

This past summer I spent a great deal of time filling out the forms and taking photos in order to apply for the "Canadian Wildlife Federation - Backyard Habitat Certification".

It took a while to get the forms filled out just "so" and to get photos taken of a wide variety of my plants, shrubs, trees and wildlife friendly accessories.

The reward came when the package arrived in the mail. To have all your hard work acknowledged is SO gratifying and the items you receive in your certification package is quite neat. I won't tell what you get, because it's like Christmas to open your envelope but it's great fun and well worth the time to apply. I 'will' say that I took a lot of time to include absolutely everything in my application and labelled all the photos and for all my hard work the Federation gave me one of their signs for free which is a $15.00 value which you normally have to order. The signs are beautiful and will be posted in my woods to remind me that I'm doing a good job and to take some time to enjoy it.

If you are interested, go here:

http://www.wildaboutgardening.org/en/whats_new/backyardhab/backyardhab.htm

Have fun with it!

Barb

southern Ontario, CANADA

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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Good job Barb! WTG!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 4:13AM
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tess_5b(z5b S.Ont.)

Thanks for the link! I think I'll start the process of filling out the application and getting photos together to get us certified. We live on an acre in the country with crown land across the street and large acreages (150+) to the east, north and west of us and wildlife are common visitors. I was shocked a month or so ago when I saw a heron fly through my backyard! They are so graceful.

Thanks again,
tess

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 1:02PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Thanks Crazy Gardener and You're Welcome Tess. Ya, now is a good time to fill in the paperwork because you'll write down as much as you can think of at the time and then a day later you think "oh ya, I shoulda added this or that" and so on and so forth. I just kept the papers at my desk (which is near my bed) so every time I'd think of something new to add, I just jotted more stuff down. It doesn't look like much when you first look at the questions but as you keep filling it out, you'll find that you'll add and add and add to it. Then in the spring as things start sprouting up through the ground you can take photos. Get doubles so you can make an album just for yourself (or scrapbook if you do that) and for the copy you send to the Wildlife Federation, write on the back what the species is, common name and tax. name. I'm sure that it was all the effort I put into it that made them give me the sign for free. Even though it's winter (finally), you can even get some photos of the Highbush Cranberries with their bright red berries, fur trees, feeders, any open water for the birds and mammals. You might be surprised how much photos you can still do even now that it's winter. Oh and about your Blue Heron... I love'em too. We have a brick-pond in our city and the herons love it there because the water is likely no deeper than 3-4 feet at it's highest. Every time we pass by in the car, the kids count all the herons and one time we even spotted a Great Egret which was a nice find. If you start seeing numbers of Great Blue Herons, keep an eye out for a nesting colony. They nest in high trees with nests very close together and the sound of the colony is something you won't often hear in your lifetime. the last colony we came upon had about 75 nesting pairs.

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 1:48PM
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Crafty Gardener(ON 5b)

Thank you for the link.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 6:14PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

You're welcome craftygardener. When I filled in my application I think there was something about them (the CWF) possibly using your photos for their magazine. I'm not a CWF member but it would be neat to have your/my photos published as part of an article, wouldn't it?

Barb

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 5:58PM
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Crafty Gardener(ON 5b)

I've printed off the application Barb, and I'm going to be working on it for the next little while. It will keep me occupied over the next few weeks and it will be fun looking through the photos I've taken and seeing which ones to include.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 1:04PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Oh! HIGH FIVES to you Craftygardener!!! I'm so glad others are taking an interest. I think it's so sad that school curriculum doesn't teach such things to school children. What a cool science project you could do with something like this. It's about as basic a science lesson as you can get....walk out the door and see what you can see and how you can improve it. Hmmmmm... any teachers here????

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 1:39PM
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jimmyjojo

Is the certificate like this one?

http://www.nwf.org/backyard/
http://www.nwf.org/backyard/history.cfm

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 4:23PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Almost identical project Jimmyjojo. I think that one is the American version and the one I did was Canadian. Both ask for various criteria as you see on that page you posted. They want to see that you have provided habitat, particularly focused on native plants, shrubs and trees. They want to see food and water supply, shelter, nesting opportunities. They want to see that you provide alternatives to the food, water, shelter and nesting in the form of safe feeders, native plants, shrubs and trees that provide foods throughout the year, heated baths in winter, roosting boxes and properly designed and placed nesting boxes. I don't know how detailed the USA questionaire is, but the Canadian one even asks questions about use of chemicals in your yard and garden, if you use things such as rainbarrels at your downspouts, if you compost and if you use fallen leaves for mulch on your plant beds. I found using the questionaire made me even more conscious about the alternative things I can do for my little wildlife sanctuary, so shortly after filling out the application, I also bought a rainbarrel from our city at a reduced rate to use for watering my perennial beds during the mandatory "no watering" days in the summer.

All in all it was a very positive experience for me and then getting the little package in the mail just reinforced what a good job I am doing for my tiny little space on the earth.

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 5:41AM
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jimmyjojo

The US one has many Canadians too and has reached over 70,000 members.

I hooked 3 barrels together that hold approx. 675 litres and it's still no where near what I need in the heat of summer. A friend told me about a guy that makes 1000 litre tanks for rain water. I might have to go talk to him. But better than a barrel is a raised pond. I saw a story on TV about a guy in Waterloo who built one on his front lawn that holds 3,000 litres.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 9:44AM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Just curious if anyone used the winter to start the paperwork to register their yard? Also wanted to bump the thread back up for any new members who didn't see the thread to have a chance at the link.

Happy Spring everyone!

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 7:06PM
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