The National Wildlife Federation recently released its list of the nation’s most wildlife-friendly cities as part of its 81st annual National Wildlife Week. Atlanta earned the number two spot on the list, according to a press release.
Wildlife in urban and suburban areas face tremendous stress as we chop down trees, plant yards, drain wetlands, install stormwater systems, erect buildings and pave roads, say wildlife officials. In the “Top 10 Cities for Wildlife,” the NWF recognized cities that are not only taking direct action to help wildlife, but their residents are also creating wildlife habitat in their backyards, balconies, at schools and throughout their communities.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Urban Wildlife Program ranked America’s 100 largest cities based on several important criteria for wildlife, including the amount of parkland within the city, participation in urban wildlife programs and citizen action measured by citizen participation in the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. Certified Wildlife Habitats™ are properties that provide all the necessary elements for wildlife to survive – food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young, while integrating sustainable gardening practices.
The city of Atlanta again made the top three most wildlife-friendly cities, this time sneaking up a spot to number two on the list. Atlanta currently has 1,002 Certified Wildlife Habitats, 63 of which are Schoolyard Habitats. The city’s Climate Action Plan includes a focus on expanding urban parks and greenspaces within the city as well as expanding tree canopy. Atlanta is also known as “The City in a Forest” for its large number of trees and its commitment to restoring urban tree canopy to support wildlife and communities. The Atlanta Metro Area is home to six certified Community Wildlife Habitats, including Druid Hills, Chamblee, Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta and Milton.
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