On March 9th, 2015, Missoula Mayor John Engen announced a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation with the goal of recognizing Missoula as a certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Three years later, on July 19th, 2018, Missoula crossed the finish line to become the first certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the entire state of Montana! This is a well-deserved honor, as it took three years of hard work and dedication from the National Wildlife Federation staff, community partners, volunteers, and, most importantly, the City of Missoula.
To become a certified Community Wildlife Habitat, a city much reach a certain number of homes, schools, and common spaces as Certified Wildlife Habitats. Any space that provides food, water, cover, and places to raise young, while using sustainable gardening practices, can become a Certified Wildlife Habitat. In the case of the City of Missoula, we reached our goal after certifying 135 homes, 12 schools, and 30 common areas. Despite already achieving the goal of becoming a Community Wildlife Habitat, these numbers continue to grow. As of January 2019, Missoula is home to 145 certified homes, 14 schools, and 33 common areas.
It seems only appropriate that the Garden City has become the Garden for Wildlife City!