Celebrating 10,000 Backyard Habitats! - Columbia Land Trust
The Backyard Habitat Certification Program surpasses a major milestone

The Backyard Habitat Certification Program has surpassed 10,000 participants and we are thrilled to celebrate this incredible milestone for the program, which is co-sponsored by the Bird Alliance of Oregon (formerly Portland Audubon) and Columbia Land Trust.

The program was created 15 years ago, and now operates in four counties (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington), encouraging people to create natural habitats in their yards and greenspaces, and building community to make our region healthier for wildlife, and for ourselves.

Across the Portland metropolitan area there are more than 2,500 acres enrolled in the program, and 691 acres have been certified, meaning that they have a certain percentage of native plants and other features that benefit wildlife.

“Backyard Habitat has always been a collaboration in the truest sense of the word,” said program co-manager Susie Peterson. “From the people who put the initial concepts together and tested them in two parks in southwest Portland, to the dozens of staff and volunteers who have dedicated time and energy to supporting participants, to the more than 30 community and funding partners, and finally to the 10,000 participants, each of whom is caring for the land around them. All of these people have worked together over 15 years to create an amazing wildlife corridor that spans four counties and connects individual yards to larger swaths of land conserved by nonprofit organizations and government agencies. This region has always been home to a vast array of plant and animal species, and the collective actions of Backyard Habitat participants are providing food and shelter to help keep our region as richly biodiverse as possible.”

You can learn more about creating your own Backyard Habitat and enroll in the program at backyardhabitats.org.

After enrolling, a program technician will visit your space, make personalized recommendations, and answer questions. You can then work at your own pace to plant native plants, remove invasive species, reduce the use of pesticides, manage stormwater, and make the area as welcoming as possible for native wildlife. Program participants are invited to join the robust online community and have access to digital resources as well as coupons to local nurseries and bird shops!