Topanga Registers as NWF Community Wildlife Habitat

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The Topanga Chamber of Commerce and Topanga Creek Watershed Committee announced that Topanga is putting out the welcome mat for birds, butterflies, mountain lions and other wildlife, by recently registering its Community Wildlife Habitat™ (CWH) project with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

The inspiration comes from Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, California Director of the NWF, who delivered the keynote address at the Chamber’s 67th Annual Awards Dinner on April 2. Pratt-Bergstrom has also just released a book, “When Mountain Lions are Neighbors: People and Wildlife Working it Out in California.”

To date, NWF has certified only four other communities in California and none in the Los Angeles area. Topanga is working to become part of this distinguished group. A Community Wildlife Habitat project brings people together for a common purpose—to create a community where people, flora and fauna can flourish.

Our goal is to certify at least 75 homes, two schools and three businesses, as well as places of worship and other locations. Topanga already has several registered properties and is adding more daily in the quest to reach our goal.

Since 1973, NWF has provided millions of people with the basic guidelines for making their landscapes more hospitable for wildlife and has certified more than 190,000 sites, including yards, schools, businesses, community gardens, parks and places of worship. Each of these sites certifiably provides the four basic elements that all wildlife needs to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young.

Topanga’s action plan includes a long-term commitment to citizen education about providing habitat for wildlife and employing sustainable gardening practices, such as conserving water, planting native plants, eliminating the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, composting and removing plants that behave invasively.

With our breathtaking proximity to wildlife and open space, Topangans have a unique affinity for the mountain lions, coyotes, hawks, owls and other animals of the Santa Monica Mountains whom we consider beloved neighbors. It is in that spirit that the Topanga Chamber, Topanga Creek Watershed Committee and other community organizations are joining forces to promote this initiative in the Canyon.

To become a certified Community Wildlife Habitat, please contact Carrie L. Carrier at carrielcarrier@gmail.com.

To start your own gardening for wildlife adventure, visit NWF’s website at www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife. The site offers access to continually updated information and resources for habitat projects, along with a wealth of other information on wildlife and wild places, and how to help protect these precious natural resources.

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.