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August 20, 2010

Appreciating Backyard Wildlife

Turn your churchyard into a sanctuary for wildlife and your congregation

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Water is the essence of life and will to attract wildlife to your sanctuary. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • An urban wildlife sanctuary benefits all kinds of wild neighbors. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • It’s a place for animals to nest. iStockphoto.com

  • It’s a safe haven to raise young. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • A diverse habitat will draw a wider variety of critters. Janet Snyder/The HSUS

  • Hummingbird feeders work great on many apartment balcony sanctuaries. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Plant native flowers to as a food source for the smallest of your wild neighbors. Debra Firmani

  • A decaying tree hosts insects for woodpeckers to feed on, while native plantings offer safe cover for a rabbits to nest. Debra Firmani

  • You may be surprised to see who comes to your place to find sanctuary. Jennifer Holden

The familiar wild animals close to home—the squirrels who dig up our bulbs, the deer who graze in our gardens, or the raccoons who den in our chimneys—deserve our care and respect. Whether your church is in an urban or rural setting, you can take steps to create a hospitable environment for local wildlife, helping people and animals enjoy the bounty of creation. You can also help people live in harmony with the wild animals in their neighborhoods.



In the guide


Create a wildlife sanctuary


Organize nature walks or an outing to a wildlife rehab center


Public space improvement


  • Check with your local parks department to identify appropriate areas and learn about permit requirements and restrictions. Organize a group of volunteers to pick up trash, plant native plants, or donate a park bench.

Plan an event with a guest speaker




More ideas


Wildlife resource corner


Wildlife tips for your newsletter or web site


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