Arkansas Audubon Society
BIRD-FRIENDLY YARD CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Over the past century urbanization has changed once ecologically productive land into sterile lawns with exotic ornamental plants. We have introduced walls of glass, toxic pesticides, and domestic predators. The human dominated landscape typically does not support functioning ecosystems or provide healthy places for birds. As a result many bird species are in decline.
Your yard - and the kinds of plants in it - matters more than you may know. Native plants play an important role in providing the food and cover birds need to survive and thrive in a way that non-native plants cannot. By increasing the number of native plants, decreasing non-native invasive plants, and making other changes, you can greatly improve the value of your yard to birds
Arkansas Audubon Society's Bird-Friendly Yard Initiative provides guidance to make yards healthier and safer places for birds to live. Each yard that meets the criteria will be certified as "Bird Friendly". A map of Bird Friendly Yards is available for download.
Certification is based on completing actions in specific categories, Plant Natives and Remove Invasives, Remove Hazards, Supply Basic Needs, and Personal Actions. Yards will be certified at three levels Working to Become, Green, or Gold. To qualify for the Green level you must complete enough action items to accrue 100 points with at least 50 points from the Plant Natives and Remove Invasives category. A minimum of 150 Certification Points are required for the Gold level. Registration of a yard with less than 100 points will be classified as Working To Become Bird Friendly. Vinyl yard flags are available for each classification.
Appendix A provides the rationale behind each of the certification criteria.
Appendix B provides additional resources. AAS Yard Mentors may be available to answer your questions and provide further assistance, just ask. Contact Pam Stewart at 870-715-0260 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. In completing the application, photos of your yard would be helpful.
You may register at any time by completing and submitting the Application Form. Sending in the form registers you as a participant in the program regardless of the number of points earned. A yard flag, an illustrated book, and other materials are available for $20. Color and wording on the flag depend upon the points accrued.
Application Form Rationale for the Criteria (Appendix A)
Additional Resources (Appendix B)
Bird Friendly Yard Committee