Leading a nationwide trend in community concern for habitat loss, Johns Creek has been officially designated a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat, the 60th community in the country and the second in Georgia to receive this honor.
Since May 2010, Johns Creek Wildlife Habitat Team members have been working to foster a community living in harmony with nature by promoting the importance of conservation and providing food, water, shelter and places to raise young for wildlife throughout the community.
Led by 16-year-old Johns Creek High School student Malcolm Barnard, shown here in a December interview, more than 200 local back yards have been certified as Certified Wildlife Habitat sites. In addition, 14 schools and 10 community sites such as businesses and neighborhoods have been certified, as well as the Newtown Park Community Garden and the Johns Creek Greenway.
Focused on educating the community about the importance of habitat preservation, the Wildlife Team has hosted numerous wildlife gardening workshops, sponsored community events such as Johns Creek Earth Day, created an educational website for residents, and promoted the use of native plants and environmental conservation as part of sustainable city development.
An integral part of the project, 14 local schools have been NWF certified and will be receiving grants from the program to enhance environmental education at all levels. Partnerships with local community organizations and businesses have also fostered new opportunities for habitat conservation.
To date, only 59 other communities in the United States have been recognized with Community Wildlife Habitat certification. Chamblee was certified in 2003 and Roswell is actively working toward certification. Since 1973, NWF has provided millions of people with the basic guidelines for making their landscapes more wildlife-friendly. There are more than 148,000 certified habitats nationwide, 6,091 in Georgia and 913 in Fulton County.
A ceremony will mark the designation:
Johns Creek Certification Ceremony
Date: Tuesday, May 8
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Newtown Park Community Garden, 3150 Old Alabama Road
Event: Presentation of the Community Wildlife Habitat certificate to Mayor Mike Bodker by a representative of the National Wildlife Federation. TV personality and NWF media spokesman David Mizejewski will be on hand for the festivities. Certified local schools and neighborhoods and project partners will be recognized and awards presented. The event is open to all. Free refreshments will be provided by Whole Foods Market of Johns Creek. Information on habitat creation will also be available.