Mark Byrd, a resident of the new Founders Pointe community in Isle of Wight County, has a passion for treating his neighbors right, especially the fine-feathered variety. After moving to his new home in January of 2006, he immediately started working towards getting his yard certified as a wildlife habitat. This past summer he accomplished his goal, and now proudly displays a sign verifying the certification by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).
The sign sits on the side of his beautiful custom home in Founders Pointe. A quick glance at the yard immediately gives the impression that these home owners are nature lovers. Even in the fall it is clear that their landscaping is lush. A small hummingbird feeder is nestled into a large bed by the home and more bird feeders are tucked into the trees in back. A squirrel feeder is down low, and the soft sounds of a fountain can be heard in the front. Nectar rich flowers and plants encourage birds, caterpillars and butterflies. Two bluebird houses have already been the home to fifteen baby bluebirds in the past two years.
All of these ingredients together warranted the certification as a wildlife habitat. Byrd commented, “Creating a wildlife habitat is easier than one might think…and most of what you need is already there. You just have to add a little food, water, and shelter or places to make a home, and you’re set.”
Now Byrd has his sights on spreading the word with his neighbors in Founders Pointe, encouraging others to have their yards certified by the NWF. His sign is the first step. In the words of the NWF, the wildlife sign “conveys your commitment to wildlife conservation and the environment.” Byrd is now working with the developers of Founders Pointe, East West Partners, to spread the word and encourage other neighbors to have their yards certified. With enough homeowner participation and community wildlife habitat improvement projects, the entire Founders Pointe neighborhood will earn a community certification from the foundation.