NIBLEY – Nibley is looking to become the first city in Utah certified by the National Wildlife Federation. For a city Nibley’s size, the organization requires 75 individual properties – both homes and public properties – to be certified.
“It’s to show that the whole community has got a vested interest in wildlife habitat,” said Ron Hellstern, a Nibley resident who started the effort to get the city certified. “We’re not talking about grizzly bears and elk, but song birds and pollinators and those kinds of things.”
Hellstern said that by making an effort to become certified, it helps show there can be coexistence with humans and wildlife, even with urban growth.
“What we want to do is understand that it’s not either us or wildlife,” he said. “It can be a combination of both.”
In order for a home or other public property to be certified, it has to meet requirements to provide the basic habitat needs for the animals – food, water, cover and places to raise young. Other practices such as water conservation and planting native vegetation are also required.
Nibley is close to its goal. Right now, it has 55 homes certified by the Wildlife Federation. In addition to the homes, CampSaver, the Thomas Edison Charter School, Heritage Park and Hollow Road Park have all joined in and become certified.
Vonda Norman said she had her home certified because of her concern for pollinators and that the process was a lot simpler than most think. Certification requires going to the Wildlife Federation’s website and answering a series of questions to verify it meets the requirements.
“They ask what sort of resources you have in your yard,” she said. “You know like, ‘Do you have trees? Do you have birdhouses? Do you have cover for animals?’ You go through 50 questions or something.”
When planting her garden, Connie McManus specifically chose plants that were native to the area and plants that produce berries that birds could eat. Her yard, along with eight others throughout Nibley, was open for tours Saturday to try and encourage others to get certified as well.
“I’m just trying to make things more water efficient,” she said. “A place that provides a lot of shade and beauty for me and food and habitat for birds and other pollinators and butterflies.”