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Medina County first in state to get National Wildlife Federation habitat status

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    Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District education coordinator Linda Schneider has a Certified Community Habitat garden at her home in Valley City. FILE PHOTO PROVIDED BY LINDA SCHNEIDER

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23610912

Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District education coordinator Linda Schneider has a Certified Community Habitat garden at her home in Valley City. FILE PHOTO PROVIDED BY LINDA SCHNEIDER

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Medina County is the first county in the state to be officially recognized as a Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation, Linda Schneider of the Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District said Tuesday.

Medina County officially registered its 400th habitat garden — the number required to become certified — at the end of September, Schneider said.

The achievement will be recognized during a community celebration from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 21 at Buffalo Creek Retreat, 8708 Hubbard Valley Road, Seville.

Schneider said the event will be free and open to the public, and feature family-friendly activities, guest speakers and educational displays.

Dot Boisen of the National Wildlife Federation is scheduled to present Medina County Commissioner Bill Hutson with a certificate commemorating the county’s status.

Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Jim Dieter will then present a gift to Medina County.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell and Seville Mayor Carol Carter are scheduled to speak about a program known as the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, which asks mayors across the nation to help restore monarch butterfly habitats in their communities.

“The village has really stepped up and we have pollinator pots all over downtown, we have them in our parks,” Carter said Tuesday. “I think we have over 20,000 square feet of pollinators all over our village.”

Carter, who became involved with the program in 2016, said milkweed is one of the pollinators planted throughout Seville to attract the monarch butterfly.

“People are starting to see the monarch butterflies more. I am, too, she said. “I never noticed until they brought it to our attention they weren’t seeing them.”

Schneider said anyone that has a certified garden in Medina County — done by certifying they provide the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young — is invited to bring a photograph or item from their garden to display during the event.

Children are invited to dress up as their “favorite pollinator” and participate in a pollinator parade as the event’s grand finale, Schneider said.

Educational displays will be presented by:

  • Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Medina County Park District
  • Ohio State University Extension
  • Medina County Beekeepers
  • The National Wildlife Federation
  • Village of Seville

While Medina County is now a certified Community Wildlife Habitat, Schneider said the county program will continue for at least the next three years.

“We have set a goal of 100 new certified yards a year for the next three years,” she said. “We want people to continue, we want people to tell their neighbors and help their neighbors understand the importance of pollinators and the awareness of attracting birds and butterflies to your yard.”

Schneider said she was confident Medina County would achieve its Community Wildlife Habitat status at some point.

“The question was when,” she said. “I was confident that we would succeed, I didn’t know how long it would take us and it took us a little over two years.”

For more information about the wildlife garden certification program, contact Schneider at (330) 722-9321 or lschneider@medinaco.org.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.


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