Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Bergen Audubon Reaches a Milestone: 100 Certified Wildlife Gardens Now Registered!

Don Torino (right) presents George Avrov with a Bergen County Audubon Society Certified Wildlife Garden sign

A little over one year ago Bergen County Audubon Society began a program to help create and register wildlife gardens in backyards, school yards, places of worship and local businesses.

These certified wildlife gardens would help migratory birds, butterflies and pollinators find a place among the concrete and congestion of the most densely populated state in the nation.

These small natural oaseswould also create stepping stones for migratory birds, ultimately linking together all our nature centers aiding our birds on their grueling and arduous migratory journey. Today we are proud to announce that we have reached 100 certified wildlife gardens!

George and Susan Avrov of Towaco are our proud 100th certified garden homeowners and feel that their yard has not only benefited the wildlife but also enriched their own lives as well.

“With the help of Bergen County Audubon, we began our journey in earnest, they say. “We planted between 40 and 50 bird and wildlife friendly native plants and trees in preparation for our new visitors!

“In addition to bird feeders we also installed next boxes, three brush piles, a watering station and two butterfly/hummingbird gardens! We have a new rule here at our home. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets planted on our property unless it provides some benefit to the birds.

“Well, to make a long story short, here is a list of just some  of our new little friends that have visited us since January when we started:  Dark Eyed Jucos, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Goldfinch, House Finch, White Crowned Sparrow, Tufted Titmice, White Breasted Nuthatch, Chipping
Sparrows, Cardinals,  Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves, Catbirds and male and female Orioles.

“In early May we welcomed two pair of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks with one of the pair spending the entire summer with us. We are blessed to view our new friends in the wild, exhibiting their natural behaviors. This was especially evident when just recently they all started bringing their new babies to our yard for the first time!

“Most recently we have had Ruby-throated Humming birds and Monarch butterflies! Now that we see how this whole concept of “Build It and They Will Come” actually works, Suzie has suggested that we reduce the amount of our lawn in the backyard and plant a ton more wildlife friendly plants!” – George & Susan Avrov

The certification program is based almost exclusively on the diversity of native plants that are on the property. Native plants are the foundation of a true healthy wildlife habitat. We have certified small backyard butterfly gardens to local large business properties. Every and any place we can create areas friendly to wildlife is important to the future generations of birds and butterflies and will create corridors and pathways that will connect them to our nature preserves and wildlife centers around our region.

The Certification is free to everyone no matter where you live. It is as easy as filling out a form. Once the certification is complete you will receive a certificate and garden sign, all of which are free of charge.  Together through this program we can add countless acres to help our wildlife that is under extreme stress from climate change and habitat loss ,  and at the same time create a healthier and happy place for ourselves and our children.

For more info on the Bergen County Audubon Certified wildlife garden program go to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *