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Nature at Home

en Español

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Nature at Home Certification Program

The Nature at Home Certification Program was developed to educate and encourage people on the best land stewardship practices for making their growing spaces nurturing for plants, insects, birds and other wildlife. From backyards to front porches, the potential to transform your outdoor living spaces is boundless. Working towards greater biodiversity helps pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies flourish. Thanks to the Cape Fear Audubon Society for collaborating with the Extension Master Gardener volunteer program of New Hanover County to develop this initiative.

Who is eligible? At this time, only residents in New Hanover County can apply. Any size yard, ranging from the porch to the backyard, is eligible. Site visits are scheduled from April 1 through October 31, so that observations can be made in the growing season when foliage is abundant for identification. The optimal time to plant is October through March.

The $30 application fee must be received by the Extension office (located at 6206 Oleander Drive) before a site visit is scheduled. Participants can pay by check, cash, or card. Site visits are not scheduled between November 1st and March 31st, because many plants are dormant. 

Read through the seven Nature at Home Practices here.

Download the Nature at Home brochure.

Download an application for Nature at Home OR fill out an online application is available via Google Forms here: Nature at Home Application – Google Form

Once an application is submitted (in-person or online), a $30 fee is paid (in-person credit card, cash or check at 6206 Oleander Drive, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12 noon & 1 p.m.-5 p.m.), a home visit is scheduled, the site is reviewed by Ambassadors, and the property is certified, participants will earn a stylish yard sign signifying one’s nature-friendly habitat that can be picked up at the Plant Clinic located at the NHC Arboretum.

Approved applicants will receive contact from Master Gardener volunteers who will schedule a time to set up a home visit. These visits are approximately an hour in length. The Master Gardener team will visit your yard and review your status and give advice on ways to encourage and support wildlife in your yard.

Resources to bring nature home:

For any questions about this program, please contact the Cooperative Extension Plant Clinic located at the New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive in Wilmington, NC 28403. Plant Clinic hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday and the phone number is 910-798-7674.