PAWS Magazine

Issue 36, Winter 1998

Creating a Backyard Habitat

Naturescaping is a way of inviting wildlife into your backyard by using native plants that provide shelter, food, and water for our urban wildlife neighbors.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program

16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek, WA 98012-1296
Contact: Russell Link (425) 775-1311

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) created the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program to help homeowners learn what they can do to share their yard with wildlife. To join the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program, send WDFW $5 and you will receive tons of useful information about how to invite wildlife into your yard and an application to become certified as a sanctuary. Participants receive a plaque that identifies their yard as a backyard wildlife sanctuary.

WDFW has a set of factsheets called the "Urban Wildlife Series" that include Nest Boxes for Birds, Hummingbirds and How to Attract Them, Winter Bird Feeding, Landscape Design for Wildlife, several children’s bird books, and more. Call the number above to find out how to order materials from WDFW.

Ten demonstration facilities exist around the state to help homeowners, landowners, and developers see how landscaping can help wildlife. Call WDFW at the number above for the locations of the demonstration facilities.

Seattle Audubon Society

8050 35th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 523-4483 website:

Seattle Audubon has an excellent "Introduction to Naturescaping" packet that is full of community resources for creating and maintaining a backyard sanctuary. Backyard Sanctuary Tours are offered in the spring. For more information contact: Rainier Audubon P.O. Box 778, Auburn, WA 98071, (253) 852-7766.

King County Wildlife Program

Water & Land Resources Division
506 Second Avenue, Suite 708, Seattle, WA 98104-2311
(206) 296-7266, email:

The King County Wildlife Program is another source for written materials and also offers workshops for the public on naturescaping.

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