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DALLAS— The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America's largest wildlife conservation and education organization, has named Brookhaven College's Windmill Garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat through its Garden for Wildlife program. In addition, the garden's habitat has been co certified with NWF's state affiliate, the Texas Conservation Alliance.
"I am so pleased the Windmill Garden is included in this national program. Expanding and protecting urban wildlife habitat and green space is important to Brookhaven College and our community," said Carrie Schweitzer, director of sustainability at Brookhaven College.
As a Certified Wildlife Habitat, the Windmill Garden is also part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, an effort to create a million gardens that provide habitat for declining pollinator insects.
The Windmill Garden spans approximately 4,000 square feet and its growth during the past year, thanks in part to fundraising efforts by the Office of Sustainability, includes beds and gravel pathways, a rainwater catchment system and a drip irrigation system with native trees planted on the perimeter of the garden. The thousands of dollars raised also provided nearly 600 native plants, bulbs and seeds representing 150 species. The garden was also titled an official Monarch Waystation in 2016 thanks to the addition of milkweed and other native species.
The 199 acre college campus includes a creek, a wild thicket and undeveloped fields that are inviting to wildlife. The Windmill Garden attracts numerous species of bees, butterflies, wasps, flies and dragonflies. Bird activity has increased near the garden, and rabbits visit regularly to munch on select grasses and weeds. Plus, the garden is enjoyed by the many campus and community guests who lunch and relax there.