Community Wildlife Habitat - Missoula
It seems only appropriate that the Garden City has become the Garden for Wildlife City!
On March 9th, 2015, former Missoula Mayor John Engen announced a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation to recognize Missoula as a certified Community Wildlife Habitat, a program of Garden for Wildlife™. Finally, on July 19th, 2018, Missoula crossed the finish line and became the first certified Community Wildlife Habitat in Montana! This is quite an achievement, as it took years of hard work and dedication from the National Wildlife Federation staff, community partners, volunteers, and, most importantly, the City of Missoula.
To become a certified community, a city much reach a certain number of homes, schools, and common spaces considered Certified Wildlife Habitats. Any space that provides food, water, cover, and places to raise young, while using sustainable gardening practices, qualifies as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. For the City of Missoula, we reached our goal after certifying 135 homes, 12 schools, and 30 common areas. Despite this achievement, Missoula’s gardens continue to grow.
Providing those 5 elements of habitat, food, water, cover, places to raise young, and sustainable gardening practices, is made easier when using plants native to the Missoula Valley. The species of birds, butterflies, pollinators, and even deer we see enjoying our garden spaces have evolved to look for these native plants when searching for food, when seeking cover, and when raising young. Native plants are typically more drought-resistant, which makes caring for them in a sustainable way that much easier by reducing water use. Creating powerful and resilient habitat spaces like these in Missoula is even more important when we thing about the habitat space already occupied by homes, roads and businesses.
Above are Certified Wildlife Habitats™ in the Missoula area. Create and certify your wildlife garden, whether it’s a balcony, suburban yard, schoolyard, or business.
Dan French - Garden for Wildlife™ Coordinator and 2023 AmeriCorps Member.
Hello! My name is Dan, I’m from Potsdam “almost Canada” NY, and I’m an east coast skier. I graduated from Bentley University in 2021 with a major in sustainability sciences with minors in general business and management. While there, I played for their club frisbee team Bentley Icehouse all four years. I also had the opportunity to intern with the National Park Service’s Office of Policy for a semester in Washington DC. In my free time I like to ski/snowboard, hike, and play ultimate. When it’s not so nice outside I let my inner nerd show and I enjoy the card game Magic the Gathering. I’m a Wilderness EMT, which means I care a lot about how hydrated you are on warm days, and how warm you are on cold ones. Above all else, I enjoy being the person who gets to help others experience and enjoy the outdoors, wherever the outdoors are. Hopefully, I’ll get to be that person for you.
Contact our Team!
- Email Dan French, Garden for WildlifeTM Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email Naomi Alhadeff, Montana Education Manager - email@example.com
Follow us on social media or visit our National Wildlife Federation: Northern Rockies, Prairies, and Pacific – Montana Education website for volunteer opportunities, gardening tips, additional resources, upcoming events, and how to get involved.
- An Exemplary Garden for Wildlife
- Attracting Pollinators to your Garden Using Native Plants (PDF)
- Beneficial Insects (PDF)
- Deer-Resistant Plants for Your Garden (PDF)
- For More Resources and a Demonstration Garden
- Gardening for Bats
- Growing a Bird Garden (PDF)
- How to Help Amphibians (PDF)
- Missoula Butterfly Week
- Missoula County Weed District and Extension
- Missoula Tree and Shrub Planting Regulations
- Montana Native Plant Society
- Montana Natural History Center
- Native Wildflowers and Bees of Western Montana (PDF)
- Neighbor-Friendly Wildlife Gardening (PDF)
- NWF Garden for Wildlife
- Planning a Butterfly Garden
- Pollinator Conservation - Three Simple Steps to Help Bees and Butterflies (PDF)
- Selecting Plants for Pollinators in Montana (PDF)