Pearl Baker Park Certified Wildlife Habitat

Certified Wildlife Habitat sign installed at Pearl Baker Park (Photo by Zoe Gardner)

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased that Epicenter in Green River, Utah, has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife™ movement.

NWF celebrates this effort to create a garden that supports birds, butterflies, bees, frogs and other local wildlife. 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.

Started in 1973, the Garden for Wildlife movement is the nation’s oldest and largest native plant/habitat program, recognizing over 300,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat® gardens across the North America and at 39 embassies worldwide, encompassing an estimated 4 million acres that support wildlife locally. Backyards, urban gardens, school grounds, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms, zoos, and community landscapes can all be recognized as wildlife habitats through the program. “We are excited about this new Certified Wildlife Habitat®, as it provides native plants and essential habitat elements. Research shows certified properties have the potential to support twice as much wildlife compared to non-certified properties.” Said, Mary Phillips, Head of Garden for Wildlife™/Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

“Anyone, anywhere can restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and communities,” said 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,” he added.

Bees on Showy Milkweed at Pearl Baker Park (Photo by Zoe Gardner)

“We decided to certify our habitat, Pearl Baker Park and Outdoor Classroom, as a way to honor the work that had been done by the community, volunteers, and our organization. It’s been a joy to watch what was a vacant lot of trees turn into a lush little habitat along the town canal that attracts insects, birds, and lizards. We’ve seen hummingbird moths, Northern Flickers, bumblebees, whip-tailed lizards, and more,” said Epicenter Director Maria Sykes. “Revitalizing that space was a community effort and it has made it much more inviting to wildlife. It’s so alive now!”

Pearl Baker Park features walking paths, over 300 native or naturalized plants, educational signage, a small pavilion, natural playscapes, berms and swales, a concrete amphitheater, and picnic tables, all shaded by towering historic cottonwood trees. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset for locals and visitors alike, and is located at the intersections of S Long Street and Green River Avenue.

Many of NWF’s state affiliate organizations are partners in the Garden for Wildlife movement. Habitats in partnering states have national and state certification. Participants who have their wildlife habitat garden certified receive a personalized certificate with a unique habitat number, a one-year membership to NWF, and more perks. For more information on NWF’s Garden for Wildlife™ movement and how to qualify to have a garden space recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, visit

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow them on Facebook, X, and Instagram.