Dear Montclair Community Wildlife Habitat Members,

Today is an exciting day for pollinators and the Certified Wildlife Habitat network!  We are joining the national efforts that our First Lady, Michel Obama is doing to support the habitat of pollinators across the country. 

Let’s start the process to make our certified backyard habitats part of the “Take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. It is an easy task that we can accomplish adding new plants to attract beneficial insects to our gardens.  We will be publishing a list of plants that are good for pollinators. Please help us to spread the word about this wonderful effort.  

Below are the article by David Mizejewski from the NWF, and some details about the White House event, how to watch the event online and NWF’s social media sites. 

For details, please contact: Jose German via e-mail:

Take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

6/3/2015 // By David Mizejewski

The National Wildlife Federation is joining with dozens of conservation and gardening organizations as well as seed groups to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch a new nationwide campaign – the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

Photo by Mark Brinegar.

Bees and other pollinators are in trouble. Join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge by certifying your yard or garden with National Wildlife Federation. Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Mark Brinegar.

Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the Challenge in support of President Barack Obama’s call to action to reverse the alarming decline of pollinators, such as honey bees, native bees and monarch butterflies.

The National Wildlife Federation will work with the Network to rally hundreds of thousands of gardeners, horticultural professionals, schools, and volunteers to help reach a million pollinator gardens by the end of 2016.

Take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge


You can participate the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge by turning your yard or garden into a Certified Wildlife Habitat via National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program.  It’s as simple as providing food, water, cover and places to raise young for pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Then visit our website to certify your yard.

When you certify, you’ll get a personalized certificate, a special garden flag designating your yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, a one-year membership to National Wildlife Federation, six digital issues of National Wildlife magazine, a subscription to the monthly Garden for Wildlife e-newsletter, and a discount on wildlife gardening products from National Wildlife Catalog.

Most importantly, you’ll also start attracting beautiful pollinators and get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a difference. Each Certified Wildlife Habitat counts towards the ultimate goal of creating one million pollinator-friendly gardens by the end of 2016.  Click here to certify now

First Lady Michelle Obama To Harvest The White House Kitchen Garden, Highlight Pollinators

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Washington, DC * 3:30 PM – The First Lady will welcome students from across the country who participate in the ten Let’s Move! Sub-initiative programs to harvest the White House Kitchen Garden. In 2009, Mrs. Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation—a conversation that evolved into her Let’s Move! Initiative.

This garden harvest will highlight the important role of pollinators in the healthy food that we grow and consume. Last year, Mrs. Obama planted a pollinator garden next to the White House Kitchen Garden to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators as part of Administration efforts to promote pollinator health. Pollinators play a critical role in supporting agricultural production, and they are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take. Because pollinators are facing disturbing signs of decline from a variety of causes, important efforts are underway to support pollinator health and habitat.

In addition to strategies and recommendations outlined by the Administration’s Pollinator Health Task Force, outside organizations have stepped up to support pollinators.  This year, W. Atlee Burpee & Co. donated one million pollinator seed packets to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior to encourage people to plant pollinator gardens in communities across the country. Nearly 30,000 of these seed packets were distributed to families at this year’s Easter Egg Roll.  As well, the newly established National Pollinator Garden Network is launching on Wednesday the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of pollinators. More information on this challenge will be available at Wednesday’s event.

To help her with the harvest, Mrs. Obama invited children from schools and locations that participate in the ten Let’s Move! Programs, representing the millions of Americans that have been impacted by the Let’s Move! Initiative. Children from each of these programs also joined the First Lady at this year’s garden planting in April. These programs (full list below) were launched in collaboration with federal agencies, businesses, and non-profits to mobilize every sector to work in alignment with the overall goals of Let’s Move! and offer solutions, objectives, and technical assistance to help kids and families lead healthier lives.

The event will be livestreamed at



Wildlife Habitat Project

Attracting Wildlife to Gardens




Conservation Landscaping

            Although this is aimed at the Chesapeake Bay area, the advice

            is useful for this area also.

            Native Species:         

Native Wildflower Gardens


                        On using native plants rather than imported species

            For Birds:

Landscaping to Attract Birds



            For Butterflies:

Creating a Butterfly Garden



            For Bees:

Bee Garden



Habitat Information

Wildlife Habitat Garden Plant List:



Backyard Conservation – Wildlife Habitat:


                        Six-page brochure about backyard conservation


Wildlife Habitat Tip Sheet:


                        One page on how to create a wildlife habitat



Living with Wildlife:




                        How to keep wildlife at bay


Migratory Songbird Conservation


                        A publication of the Fish and Wildlife Service to explain measures

                        To make yards and parks attractive to songbirds



Homeowner’s Guide to Protecting Frogs – Lawn and Garden Care







 ...And finally











 List of Wildlife Gardening Sources 


The website of the National Wildlife Federation.  Search it under “Backyard Wildlife Habitat” to find extensive information about the process of certifying your yard and your community as wildlife habitat.  There are links to other useful websites as well as information and photos from homes and communities that have achieved Wildlife Habitat certification.

The website of the National Audubon Society.  It includes links to other useful websites as well as to some very relevant articles previously published in Audubon magazine.  (See “Periodicals” below.)


Audubon magazine, the periodical of the National Audubon Society, runs frequent features on environmentally responsible yard and garden care.  An article I found especially useful was called “The Audubon Garden Makeover” from the July-August 2000 issue.  It describes how a family on Long Island re-landscaped their suburban yard to create wildlife habitat.  This may also be available online. (See “Websites” above.)

New Jersey Audubon, the quarterly periodical of the New Jersey Audubon Society, also runs occasional features related to this topic.


Ellis, Barbara.  Attracting Birds and Butterflies: How to Plant a Backyard Habitat to Attract Hummingbirds and Other Winged Wildlife.  Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

An excellent source of information, providing lists of flowers, shrubs, and trees that attract birds, hummingbirds, and butterflies.  It provides descriptions and photos of many of the plants and information about their preferred sites.  I strongly recommend it to anyone getting started in wildlife-friendly gardening.

Kress, Stephen W., ed. Bird Gardens: Welcoming Wild Birds to Your Yard. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, 1999.

Includes guidelines for designing bird gardens and recommended plants.

Sperka, Marie.  Growing Wildflowers: A Gardener’s Guide. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1984.

A comprehensive reference about growing wildflowers.  Includes detailed information about topics such as soil preparation as well as about planting, bloom period, and preferred locations of wildflowers for the garden.


Most nurseries carry few native plants, and their staffs usually are not very well informed about wildlife-friendly gardening.  Fortunately, there are some nurseries that specialize in native plants:

Toadshade Wildflower Farm

This nursery in Frenchtown, NJ, specializes in hard-to-find native wildflowers.  They operate by mail-order and have their holdings listed on their website: Phone number: (908) 996-7500.

Arrowwood Native Plant Nursery

This nursery in Franklinville, NJ, concentrates mainly on native shrubs and trees.  They will ship at least some orders.  For a plant availability list, call (856) 697-6045 or e-mail

New Jersey Audubon Society

The NJ Audubon Society holds sales of native plants in the spring.  They offer some plants that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere.  Check their website at, or call one of their centers for more information.  Two relatively close centers are the Weis Ecology Center in Ringwood, NJ (973) 835-2160 and the Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuaries in Bernardsville (908)-766-5787.

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve

Located just south of New Hope, PA, Bowman's Hill has major plant sales in May and September.  For plant sale dates and catalogs, check their website at or call (215) 862-2924.  They also sell wildflower seed year around. 


Wild Bird Center

Located in West Caldwell, NJ. The owner, Phoebe Esptein, is extremely well-informed about how to attract birds and butterflies and very interested in backyard wildlife habitat.  Phone(973) 618-0022.

Wild Birds Unlimited

Located in Paramus, New Jersey.  In addition to resources for birdfeeding and birdwatching, Wild Birds Unlimited's Don Torino offers a program of "birdscaping", in which he will visit your yard and give advice on how to make it more bird-friendly WBU also offers a selection of hard-to-find plants that attract native bird species.  Phone (800) 528-BIRD Website: http:/


                        Please help us to bring nature to our community,

Join the Group, it's Free! Please e-mail Jose German at:

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