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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Nov 23, 2020

National Wildlife Federation Certifies New Schoolyard Habitat in Holmdel

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that St. Benedict School in Holmdel has successfully created a Certified Schoolyard Habitat through its Garden for Wildlife program. St. Benedict School has joined with more than 5,000 schools nationwide that have transformed their schoolyards into thriving wildlife habitats that provide essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. The habitat also serves as an outdoor education site where students can engage in cross-curricular learning in a hands-on way.

Certification also makes your Certified Wildlife Habitat part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.

“We are excited to have another school join our growing list of more than 5,000 certified Schoolyard Habitats. Kids can now personally experience nature through hands-on learning in an outdoor environment,” said Liz Soper, director of K-12 programs for National Wildlife Federation.

Tara Guido, kindergarten teacher at St. Benedict School, added, “As a teacher, we are excited to be able to provide hands-on learning opportunities for our students in an outdoor setting.”

The Great Outdoor Learning Center’s habitat is open for all students in PreK 3 through fifth grade at St. Benedict School. Offering five unique learning spaces, the students are enjoying lessons outside, planting seeds, counting the pond fish, and even smelling the roses. Students have dedicated garden space for planting and harvesting. Our youngest learners spend their playtime climbing and sliding on the mini-hill, walking on the balance beam, climbing the geo-dome and using their imaginations in the playhouse.

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 on gardening for wildlife and details on how an entire community can become certified, visit or call 1-800-822-9919.