County eyed for Community Wild Life Habitat certification

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is seeking to certify Chautauqua County as a Community Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and will be holding a kickoff event for its “Certified Community Wildlife Habitat Project” on Thursday, May 26.

The project aims to make the county a healthier, greener and more wildlife-friendly community by creating or protecting wildlife habitat that is beneficial to birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife, and in doing so, encourage both local and migrating wildlife to visit and thrive there. Habitats can easily be created in homeowner yards and gardens, at businesses, on school grounds, at public parks or any number of other green areas, both large and small. With increasing human impact and development, the success and longevity of these habitats are threatened and need to be protected.

Community certification is based on a points system, which includes a number of education and outreach activities provided by the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and its partners as well as a certain number of individually certified properties within the community. An individually certified property needs to meet the National Wildlife Federation’s requirements that a single habitat or garden provide food, water, cover and places for native wildlife to raise young as well have sustainable landscaping or gardening practices. Through participation in the project, residents will learn about those sustainable gardening practices and how these habitats promote healthy living for both humans and wildlife alike.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is partnering on the project with Audubon Community Nature Center, CCCES and the Master Gardener’s project, Jamestown Public Market, Jamestown City Parks Department, Royal Fern Nursery, Brigiotta’s Nursery, Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium, Jamestown Community College and the State University at Fredonia.

The public is invited to attend the kickoff event, learn more about the project and how to become involved, and enjoy some light refreshments. The event will take place on Thursday, May 26, from noon to 1 p.m. near the native plant gardens along the Jamestown Riverwalk behind the BPU on Steele Street, between the two pedestrian bridges. Representatives from the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, several of the partner agencies, Jamestown Mayor Edward Sundquist and County Executive PJ Wendel will be in attendance. Those interested in attending can use Entrance A at the BPU and park in the gravel parking area to the right. Those attending are asked not to drive behind or block the gated parking area for BPU employees and deliveries.

For more information, contact Carol Markham, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy conservationist, at 716-664-2166, ext. 1005, or carol@chautauquawatershed.org.


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