About Us

Garden for Wildlife is Gardening for Good.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ program has educated and empowered people to plant with the purpose of saving wildlife going on 50 years.

Close-up of a butterfly wing Photo by: Elizabeth Brill

The best way to change how people plant to help wildlife and themselves is through native plants. Finding the right plants for the right place can be a challenge, with a limited percentage of native plants available to consumers nationwide. While there are many local resources and websites to discover native plants for your area, it takes time to understand what works for your site and gardening goals.

Plants in the marketplace primarily support widely common species and not necessarily the highest numbers of butterflies, native bees, and birds.

Certified wildlife habitat backyard garden with bird bath and bench Photo by: Connie Duea

National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ program and partnerships have engaged millions to help wildlife where people live since 1973.

Americans of all backgrounds, have already provided wildlife with food, water, cover, and places to raise young by creating over 250,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats®. More recently, Garden for Wildlife campaigns have introduced millions of new people to the urgent need to plant differently to help declining species of butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife.

Garden for Wildlife has established relationships with key networks of native plant experts, growers and fulfillment to launch and product test online plant collections in the first phase of 20 states in the Northern Temperate Eco region.

Join our Garden for Wildlife Community.

This Garden for Wildlife™ platform helps you discover how each of us can make a difference for wildlife and people by planting the right plants for the right place.

You can access native plants, create a beautiful garden habitat and map the difference you make for wildlife. Native plants, which are critical in providing wildlife with food, cover and places to raise their young, have disappeared rapidly due to development, pollution and climate change. As a result, iconic species like the monarch butterfly, along with songbirds and other wildlife are experiencing catastrophic declines.

Join us to make a direct impact where you live. It’s as easy as putting on your gardening gloves. Garden for Wildlife™ is committed to providing people the native plants and natural gardening tips and resources required to address critical backyard wildlife species decline at scale.

Group of purple flowers 

The Garden for Wildlife™ team has created plant collections that support specific wildlife where you live with a palette of plants that support high numbers of butterflies, moths, native bees and ultimately, the birds that depend on them. Garden for Wildlife™ collaborator, entomologist Dr. Doug Tallamy, and his University of Delaware research team have identified the Keystone plants that support 90% of butterfly and moth species. This work is also core to National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder, which provides zip-code-based lists of Keystone trees, shrubs and flowering plant species.

Native pollen specialist bee and plant research was conducted by pollinator conservationist Jarrod Fowler.  In addition, National Wildlife Federation’s lead science team and naturalists have input and review of final product selections.

Dirt scooper with dirt and pot with dirt in it 

Most gardening centers do not have the supply of wildflowers needed to make a difference. To provide the scale of native plants required to meet wildlife need, Garden for Wildlife™ relies on a network of accredited growers to put the curated plant collections in production by region. Garden for Wildlife™ has established a list of conditions/requirements that a grower must satisfy to be considered as an “accredited grower” for the National Wildlife Federation. These include the following:

  • Sustainable practices in place, e.g. does not use systemic chemicals on Garden for Wildlife™ line of plants.
  • Experience growing native local ecotype species to ensure diverse plant communities that meet conservation, biodiversity requirements.
  • The space and systems to grow and sort mass plugs/starter plants for collection assortments for Garden for Wildlife™ plant collections.
  • Capacity to safely pack and prepare plants for shipment in their designated region.

More Wildlife Garden Collections