The Chesterfield Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee (CCE) initiated registration with the National Wildlife Federation in 2001 and after several years of hard work, the city was named a Community Wildlife Habitat™ Community by the National Wildlife Federation in 2005. A Community Wildlife Habitat™ is a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the community--in individual backyards, on school grounds and in public areas such as parks, community gardens, places of worship and businesses. It is a place where the residents make it a priority to provide habitat for wildlife by providing the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young.
Chesterfield was the 9th certified Community Wildlife Habitat™ in the nation, so in a sense, Chesterfield was a pioneer and ahead of its time with sustainability and gardening for wildlife. The CCE presented 12 community education events, among many other tasks, with the assistance of its 10 Community Habitat Team Members. The anchor project was that of a three-acre native tall grass prairie at Governor Bates' home in Faust Park.
The Committee continues to educate its residents about sustainable gardening practices such as reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers and pesticides, conserving water, planting native plants, removing invasive plants and composting.
The city of Chesterfield is the only community in the state of Missouri and one of fewer than 75 communities in the United States that carries this certification! Businesses and homeowners may also qualify for this recognition and we are fortunate that Chesterfield has hundreds of Certified Wildlife Habitat areas. These include the Sophia M Sachs Butterfly House, the three-acre native tall grass prairie at Governor Bates' home in Faust Park, the Grow Native Demonstration Garden at entrance of Gov. Bates driveway, City Hall grounds and medians, the Butterfly Garden in Central Park, Dierbergs Meditation Park, and the Spirit of St. Louis Airport grounds, along with numerous private residences that are certified as well.
Efforts to become a Community Wildlife Habitat™ took a great deal of community participation and the committee continues to hold numerous events to give away native flora, promote sustainable gardening, and also provides educational opportunities for businesses and individuals on how to get certified. CCE continues as the Community Habitat Team Leader with annual community re-certifications with its primary partners, Faust Park and The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House.
Private residences, schools, businesses and houses of worship can certify their own gardens as well. For more information on how to become a certified habitat through the National Wildlife Federation and what you can plant in your yard for this designation, click here.