The National Wildlife Federation announced that Medina County has registered a project with the group called the Community Wildlife Habitat.
A monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant. PHOTO PROVIDED
NWF officials said in a news release that 80 communities have been certified and Medina County is working to join the group.
The national group said Medina County’s plan covers citizen education and using sustainable garden practices.
That includes reducing or eliminating the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, conserving water, planting native plants, removing invasive plants and composting.
The county told NWF its goal is to certify at least 500 homes, schools and businesses, as well places of worship and other locations.
Another National Wildlife Federation program is called the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. Earlier this year, the Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District asked each county township, city, village and county commissioners to participate.
Most planted two new wildflower gardens and milkweed plants to help support the monarch population, which experts say is in trouble.
Milkweed is the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar. Native wildflowers are nectar plants for the butterflies.
The NWF said the milkweed project would help Medina County reach a goal of becoming the first county in the state to become a certified Community Wildlife Habitat.
Since 1973, NWF said it has provided millions of people with landscape guidelines, and more than 200,000 sites including yards, schools, businesses, community gardens, parks and places of worship have been certified.
Each site provides four elements needed for wildlife — food, water, cover and places to raise young.
For information on joining the Community Wildlife Habitat project, contact Linda K. Schneider at (330) 722-9321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information also is at www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife.