Charlotte ranks ninth among the top 10 U.S. Cities for Wildlife, the National Wildlife Federations says.
The designation is based on efforts to help wildlife, not a city’s fur and feather count.
The criteria are percentage of parkland, citizen action to create wildlife habitat and schools’ use of wildlife gardens for outdoor learning.
Charlotte ranks third for its 849 Certified Wildlife Habitats and the city’s certification as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Charlotte City Council has also adopted a goal that trees cover 50 percent of the city by 2050.
Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the state affiliate North Carolina Wildlife Federation, credits city leaders, volunteers and the federation’s local CROWN chapter for nurturing urban wildlife gardens and restoring habitat for pollinators.
“With nature preserves, greenways, riparian buffers, creek system and urban gardens, Charlotte is a haven for wildlife,” he said in a release. “We have osprey nesting on Mountain Island Lake, barred owls throughout our inner-city neighborhoods, peregrine falcons downtown and a host of wildlife species in and around the Queen City.”
Austin, Texas led the list.