The Backyard Habitat Certification Program, co-managed by Columbia Land Trust and Audubon Society of Portland, began in 2007 as a pilot program for a handful of West Hills homeowners with an invasive plant problem. It is now a full-fledged initiative boasting more than 3,000 properties covering 670 acres. The program is currently available to anyone in the cities of Portland, Gresham, Fairview and Lake Oswego.
The intent of the Backyard Habitat Certification Program is simple: teach people how to garden with native plants, and encourage them to create gardens that are healthy for both people and wildlife. For only 35 dollars, a homeowner can have his or her yard personally assessed by a Backyard Habitat technician. The technician helps the property representative understand the landscape goals for the site, identifies noxious weeds and stormwater management opportunities, and points out areas of the property that would be best for habitat.
En route to certification, property owners receive support including discounts on native plants, invitations to certified yard tours, and an e-newsletter chock full of tips and workshops. When participants complete their restoration, they earn the ultimate prize: a sign identifying their property as “Certified Backyard Habitat.”
To learn more about the program and to sign up, visit www.backyardhabitats.org.
Check out BHCP multi-lingual brochure.