We discovered the Portland Audubon Society and Columbia Land Trusts’ Backyard Habitat Certification Program a little over one year ago.  Through urban gardening, natural backyard habitats are being built around Portland to support native plants and animals.  James and I were SO excited to take on this long term project. Over ten months later we are still removing invasives, planting natives and it could be years before we even reach the Silver level of Certification.  I see these signs all over town now and we’re totally motivated to earn our own for many reasons.

We are so excited to even have a yard, so still in the honeymoon stage with yard work and maybe always will be.  Because of how unkept the yard and forest were, some of the criteria for this program were met with out us doing a thing.  No pesticides, no problem, we literally have never used them.  It is so beautiful back there, magical and mossy and even though we’re interrupting this ecosystem, it will pay off in the long term.  We enjoy reading about plants and identifying birds, it feels like this program was made for us.  Will be updating our progress regularly.

Photo taken before site assessment.

The five elements of Backyard Program:

  • Invasive Weeds
  • Native Plants
  • Pesticide Reduction
  • Stormwater Management
  • Wildlife Stewardship
Goal: Free of Invasive/aggressive weeds and 15-50% of the property containing plants native to the Willamette Valley in every vegetation layer.

Back Yard Criteria Post