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St. James: is a "Community Wildlife Habitat"! 

NWF community wildlife habitat program

St. James Conservancy registered the Town of St. James with the National Wildlife Federation on April 22, 2023, to become a “Community Wildlife Habitat”. Multiple requirements had to be met across many areas and tasks, in order to achieve the necessary points for certification. Points are set, based on population and zip codes.  

In a little over ten months, we not only met, but exceeded all the required points in each category and became certified on February 29th, 2024. (Less than a year!)  By achieving this special recognition, St. James became the only coastal community in North Carolina  to meet the requirements. We are also the only community east of Raleigh to achieve this status!

What does this mean for St. James? Through this certification and the process to get here, we are making a statement that we support the balance between community development and the natural world.   We are setting an example for other communities to follow.    

 It also means:

  • we support a healthy tree canopy and preserve wildlife habitat throughout our town.

  • we respect the wildlife species that share this space with us.

  • we raise environmental awareness and educate our residents through ongoing programs, speakers and projects, including the "Resources" page on this site.

  • we limit the use of chemicals in the landscape and reduce pollution.

  • we expand the use of native plants in our gardens.

  • we conserve water and other natural resources.

  • we seek out ways to expand and improve the elements required in a habitat.

The sections below list the requirements properties must meet in order to become certified wildlife habitats. Your yard may already qualify if it has some form of these. 

Certifying your yard is easier than you think, and we are here to help!

Now, we must renew our certification each year and we welcome your help. To be clear, you do not need to recertify your property. The Town of St. James must recertify each year. That requires adding new properties to our certified list and providing community environmental education programs.The most important thing you can do right now is to get your property certified and get your neighbors to do the same. The good news is that most properties in St. James already have most of the required elements in place in order to be certified. And, it takes less than 15 minutes on line to complete the application.
The NWF fee is $20. You can also order an official NWF certification garden flag to show off your efforts. Hard copies of the application are available if you prefer.


     Thank you for participating!             


For questions, please contact SJC Board Member Ernie McLaney:    erniemclaney1@gmail.com
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