News Briefs

National Wildlife Federation certifies new wildlife habitat in Benson

Local resident make a difference protecting wildlife

BENSON – On Feb. 16, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, announced that Old King Farm in Benson, Vt., has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. NWF celebrates the efforts of Old King Farm to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. Certification also makes the Certified Wildlife Habitat® part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.

“We are so excited to have another passionate wildlife gardener join us and create a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Over the last 40 years, nearly 200,000 wildlife gardeners have joined NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and helped restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and neighborhoods,” said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an apartment balcony or a 10-acre farm, a schoolyard or a business park, or anything in between, everyone can create a home for local wildlife. Turning your space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat is fun, easy and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife,” he added.

“Given the unique location of Old King Farm’s 102 acres between the Adirondack and Green Mountain ranges, we provide a natural bridge for the area’s rich wildlife” said Rev. Dr. Orest Pelechaty, the farm’s co-Founder. “In the past decade we have planted thousands of seedlings of native endangered trees and shrubs along our stream of pure water, in order to support a diversified Riparian Wildlife Corridor. Our beautiful rolling fields are rich with wild medicinal herbs, milkweed and nectar plants, attracting endangered pollinators. We also share a fence line with Shaw Mountain Reserve, a Nature Conservancy wilderness tract, with one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in New England! Moreover, we are a working Biodynamic farm and loving stewards of all our land!”

NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provides food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries.

For more information visit

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!