Wildlife and Wildflowers
The City of Denton has created and participates in several programs each year to make sure our City is protecting wildlife and pollinators, creating habitats, and educating the public on how they can support nature in our community. For questions please contact 940-349-8205.
National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Community Wildlife Habitat Certification
The City of Denton is registered and working toward the National Wildlife Federation's Community Wildlife Habitat Certification. Over the next three years, the City will be completing outreach and engagement in order to accumulate points to complete the certification process. Residents, schools, and businesses can register yards or landscape projects to earn habitat points and gain certification.
With your NWF registration and by participating in Sustainability education, you are also eligible to be a Denton Wildlife Steward. This recognition includes a FREE yard sign and your choice of seed packets, anti-collision bird window decals or hand shovel.
Each habitat has to meet the following qualifications:
- Food: Your habitat should contain native plants that provide nutrients to local wildlife. Residents can also supplement by providing natural food sources.
- Water: Animals need water to survive. You can support wildlife by providing water for bathing and consumption.
- Cover: Wildlife need shrubs and trees to help them take cover during bad weather or to hide from predators.
- A place to raise young: Does your habitat provide a location for wildlife to reproduce, protect or nourish their young? If not, you can supplement by providing a birdhouse.
- Natural Practices: While maintaining your yard, we encourage you to use natural ways to protect the soil and water.
To learn more about this program and how you can certify your own habitat, visit the National Wildlife Federation website.
Bird City Texas - In Progress
The City of Denton is working toward attaining the Bird City Texas certification. This program involves engaging the community in bird education and conservation, preserving and protecting bird-friendly habitats, and minimizing threats to birds. The city offers and promotes several ways to participate in the program, including educational bird workshops, citizen science events such as the Great Backyard Bird Count, and our Lights Out Nights initiative.
Lights Out Guidance
The migration period for birds occurs in March through June and September through November. During this time, light pollution can make birds vulnerable to collisions with buildings, which cause an estimated 1 billion bird fatalities in the United States annually. Denton has joined an international Lights Out effort to encourage citizens to reduce light pollution during the fall and spring migration. The following actions are recommended by Lights Out Texas:
- Turn off non-essential lights from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am during migration season
- Avoid landscape lighting on trees or gardens where migrating birds may be resting.
- Close blinds at night
- For essential lights, aim lights down, use lighting shields to direct light downwards, and/or use motion detectors and sensors.
- Building managers are encouraged to adjust custodial schedules to end by 11:00 pm during migration season
- Ask custodial staff to ensure lights are off after they finish work
- Extinguish or dim exterior and decorative lighting, lobby/atrium lighting, lighting in perimeter rooms on all levels of the buildings
- Avoid floodlights, illuminating interior plants or fountains, illuminating unoccupied floors, lights with color temperature over 3,000 Kelvin
- Encourage desk lamps or task lighting rather than overhead lights
Bee City USA
After becoming a Bee City USA in 2016, the City passed a beekeeping ordinance and partnered with the Denton County Beekeepers Association to host annual beekeeping training classes. Additionally, the City hosts outreach events like the annual Honey Run in February. Denton also works with the community to encourage the development of local pollinator gardens by hosting gardening workshops throughout the year.
Monarch City USA
Since becoming a member of Monarch City USA in 2018, the City of Denton has shown its commitment to protecting these important pollinators in a number of ways. The City has developed and maintained various pollinator gardens, partnered with local organizations to host gardening workshops, and developed outreach events such as the Monarch Madness which takes place in the Fall.\
Wildflower Planting Program
The City of Denton is dedicated to providing habitat for wildlife within the City. The Wildflower Planting Program (WPP) further promotes the City's ability to provide habitat by establishing 224 acres of property along the rights-of-way and in open spaces to be planted. These areas will contain wildflowers and other native plants. These habitats will provide multiple benefits within the City including the ability to provide shelter, food, and a place for wildlife to raise their young.
Establishing wildflowers in these areas will also beautify the City by providing gorgeous landscapes that can found all over. The wildflower program will include plants that bloom throughout the year. Additional benefits of this program include a reduction in maintenance which will help offset the cost of establishment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, conserve water, reduce erosion, and improve soil health.