Building a backyard for the critters
The backyard of the couple's patio home was landscaped about a year and a half ago to include native plants as well as serve as a source of water, food and shelter for area wildlife. The couple did get help from a landscaping company to make the most of their backyard, however, this was not the Vickers' first wildlife habitat. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, almost 150,000 habitats nationwide have been certified by the non-profit organization since it began the certification program in 1973. Any nature enthusiast can crate a certified habitat, said Roxanne Paul, senior coordinator of community and volunteer outreach for the nonprofit foundation. Under the foundation's certification program, each site must provide at least three sources of food, one water source such as a birdbath, a pond or a stream, two sources of shelter and two places for wildlife to raise young. "The maintenance is easier because you are using native plants that are less susceptible to freeze and drought and bugs and stuff like that," she said.
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