RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2010) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and the North Carolina chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, has unveiled a green-growth initiative that encourages wildlife-friendly practices for new and existing residential developments.
The Wildlife Friendly Development Certification program recognizes residential land developers who promote the conservation of wildlife habitat and use environmentally sound construction practices in their developments.
Developments that are certified as wildlife friendly incorporate features that protect existing habitats by providing food, water, cover and places to raise young, the four components of suitable wildlife habitat. Once certified, these developments can be marketed to homeowners who value the protection of natural resources.
To acquire certification, developers work closely with the staffs from the Commission and Federation to determine what wildlife friendly features will be incorporated into the development to earn certification. Developers must include a certain number of wildlife friendly features throughout all phases of the development’s planning and construction, and must maintain these features once the development is completed.
“North Carolina is experiencing unprecedented growth. Through sustainable development practices outlined in this program, we can contribute to the conservation of wildlife habitats alongside new developments,” said David Cox, the Commission’s Technical Guidance supervisor. “This voluntary program allows for growth but, at the same time, conserves wildlife resources and improves the quality of life for homeowners.”
While the program is intended for developers to participate from the initial stages of residential planning, some existing developments may qualify for certification depending on the number of wildlife friendly features already incorporated.
Visit www.ncwildcertify.org to find out more about this voluntary program and to download the Wildlife Friendly Development handbook, which describes the certification process in detail and provides a step-by-step guide for developers to create a Certified Wildlife Friendly Development.