National Wildlife Federation certifies Huntington property Wildlife Habitat

Robert Meier stand next to his hummingbird feeders outside his home, where his land has been deemed a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
Robert Meier stand next to his hummingbird feeders outside his home, where his land has been deemed a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

A chunk of land in Huntington County has been deemed a Certified Wil-dlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

The parcel belongs to Huntington County resident Robert Meier and his wife Dalphe.

The 17 acres of land are a welcoming home to all types of native wildlife, a flock of free-range chickens and the Meiers’ dog, Roger.

Driving down the gravel lane to the home on the property, visitors are greeted with the signage that shows the land has been designated as a wildlife habitat.

After turning around the bend, it becomes immediately apparent as to why the signage is there.

The air is filled with the songs of many native birds – and rightfully so, as Meier says he has a birdhouse in almost every tree.

He says before they purchased the property, “this used to be a briar patch, basically, before we moved here. When we moved here we planted these trees. We decided, you know, we’ll make it real friendly for the wildlife and try to do as much as we can for the bees and the birds.”

He says they started the work of planting in 1980.

Now full of mature trees of all kinds, it is easy to see why area wildlife would flock to the Meiers’ home.

He says he has a pond in the back for deer and other animals, as well.

Meier is particularly proud of his hummingbird feeders in a tree just outside their house.

“Sometimes when the hummingbird feeders are empty and I’m hanging a new one up they’ll land on my arm, even,” he chuckles.

“Around 6 o’clock at night it looks like an airport out here. There’s one right after another flying around.”

Meier told the NWF, “I enjoy watching wildlife and wanted to do my part to help.”

“Redesigning my land to make it more inviting to wildlife not only gives me great wildlife watching opportunities, it also helps me to be greener and saves time in the long run to enjoy time outside.”

Meier is also utilizing solar power. With numerous panels installed, he says he cut his electricity bill from $250 to $10 per month.

The NWF recognizes Certified Wildlife Habitats through their Garden for Wildlife program.

The NWF says every Certified Wildlife Habitat garden provides natural sources of food, water, cover and places to raise young and is maintained in a sustainable way that incorporates native plants, conserves water and doesn’t rely on pesticides.

The Garden for Wildlife movement has recognized over 227,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat gardens across the U.S. to date, adding up to over 2.5 million acres that support wildlife locally.

“Anyone anywhere can restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and communities,” says NWF naturalist David Mizejewski.

“Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an urban area or a rural plot of land, you can make a difference for local wildlife.

“Creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat garden is fun, easy and makes a real difference for neighborhood wildlife.

“It’s the perfect grassroots way to think globally and act locally and help birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife.”

Every Certified Wildlife Habitat, including Meier’s, is now also a part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to create a million gardens that provide habitat for declining pollinator insects such as butterflies and bees.

For more information  visit www.nwf.org/garden.