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West Virginia residents can have land designated ‘wild yard’

August 30, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia residents who landscape for wildlife use can have their land designated a “wild yard.”

The program has 300 members around the state and is operated through the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to create more natural habitat for wildlife around the state.

“It’s such a wonderful program to get involved in,” Rebecca Linger, who owns a certified wild yard, said in a news release from the agency. “And you get the added benefit of creating an environment around your house where you can enjoy seeing wildlife coming and going. It really is delightful.”

Jim Fregonara, a wildlife biologist with the division, said landowners who apply, provide a habitat plan and demonstrate that their property meets the needs of native wildlife will be added to a register of wild yards. They also receive a certificate for participating in the program and a sign post to display in the yard.

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“We want to encourage private citizens, whether they have a little bit of property or own a lot of land, to help wildlife thrive by providing them with food, water, shelter and space,” Fregonara said.

More information is available at WVdnr.gov/plants-animals/conservation-education. For an information packet and application, call (304) 637-0245.