RALEIGH, N.C. (April 20, 2011) – The Woodlands at Davidson, a 50-acre residential neighborhood located near the Town of Davidson, recently earned the first Wildlife Friendly Development Certification in North Carolina through a voluntary new program that encourages wildlife habitat conservation and the use of environmentally sound construction practices for new and existing residential developments.
The Wildlife Friendly Development Certification Program is a green-growth initiative launched last fall by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the N.C. Wildlife Federation and the N.C. chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to formally recognize developments that meet sufficient criteria that assess wildlife habitat conservation and the use of environmental construction practices for residential developments.
The Woodlands earned the certification after developer John Robbins incorporated several wildlife-friendly features into the development, such as protecting a large area of forested land surrounding streams and wetlands that is now used as a common space by the homeowners. Other features that benefit wildlife and the surrounding natural areas include using native plants for landscaping, building narrow roads and driveways to decrease the amount of impervious surfaces and minimizing the area of land disturbed or cleared for individual lots.
The Woodlands also has a series of trails that wind throughout the neighborhood so that residents can enjoy the natural areas.
Developments are certified as wildlife friendly only after earning a sufficient number of points from a variety of criteria that assess the developer’s efforts to protect wildlife habitat and minimize environmental impacts in their residential development. Developers must include a certain number of wildlife friendly features throughout the development’s planning and construction, and must maintain these features once the development is completed.
“North Carolina is experiencing unprecedented growth. Allowing for this growth and, at the same time, conserving wildlife resources, is the goal of this voluntary program,” said David Cox, technical guidance supervisor with the Commission. “Through his use of sustainable development practices outlined in the program, Robbins is setting the trend towards protecting wildlife habitat while increasing property values and enhancing quality of life for residents of The Woodlands.”
According to Robbins, the emphasis on nature makes The Woodlands an experience for homeowners and not just a place to live.
“The enthusiasm our homeowners have shown for the amenities and for the wildlife is heartwarming,” Robbins said. “We have homeowners planting the right species, putting up birdfeeders and birdhouses, and generally embracing what we have started as their way of life.”
For more information on the Wildlife Friendly Development Certification program, including a list of certifying criteria, visit www.ncwildcertify.org.