South Charlotte

Matthews seeks habitat status

Is your yard certified? With help from HAWK (Habitat and Wildlife Keepers) and their Matthews Naturally project, the entire town of Matthews may soon become a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat - one of only three in the state.

A Certified Wildlife Habitat is a designation of the National Wildlife Federation. It means that the backyard, business, church or public space offers wildlife food, water, shelter, and a place to raise their young.

HAWK president, Jill Palmer, says becoming a Certified Wildlife Community will benefit the entire town.

"Becoming a Wildlife Community means we are a place where residents are making it a priority to provide appropriate habitat for wildlife. It also includes sustainable gardening practices, planting native plants and removing invasive ones, cutting back on fertilizer and pesticides, and composting to replace all those chemicals," Palmer said.

"Kids will see more and more birds, bunnies and frogs they wouldn't ordinarily see... It's a great way to get kids outside and involved with nature."

Already, 112 homes in Matthews have Certified Backyard Habitats.