National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat Program
Carolina Mornings is proud to join the National Wildlife Federation’s "Backyard Habitat” program by working to minimize the impact of humans in our local eco-systems. You're invited to come along with us to observe, learn about, and protect our mountain wildlife!
What Is The Program?
The National Wildlife Federation has created a network of micro-refuges to ensure that throughout our country, local wildlife can still find food, water, shelter, and places to raise their young even in areas that are developed. Western North Carolina has long been recognized as a leader in nature preservation and Carolina Mornings vacation rentals are part of that effort!
It’s Fun For The Kids!
Many of our guests are coming to the region to enjoy nature and the mountains. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll be delighted to learn about our local habitat through a certified property.
How many different types of trees can you find? How many different birds do you hear? Can you mimic the calls? Have you seen a bird’s nest or a groundhog’s burrow in real life? Questions like these are at the core of the program! Whether you're new to the region or a regular visitor - there is always something new to learn.
Some great resources for learning about our local habitats are here:
Choosing The Right Habitat:
To be a certified wildlife habitat, a property must provide multiple sources of food, cover, places for wildlife to raise their young, a water source, and maintain basic sustainable practices on the land. That means that a certified property could range from a back yard in-town, to a mountaintop preserve. Habitats can be designed to cater just to birds (using bird baths, feeders, and bird houses), or to include a wide range of mountain creatures such as squirrels, turkeys, groundhogs, caterpillars, butterflies, and more!
If you have any questions about the certified habitat at a specific property you’re interested in, please ask! Our friendly vacation planners can help answer questions such as which type of wildlife you may see there, how involved the property is in the program, and more. Our properties range from downtown lofts to 200-acre natural conservancies, and everything in between. We would love to help you pick the right property for your trip to Western North Carolina!
Does This Mean There Are Bears, Elk, Or Wolves?
Don’t worry, a certified property does not mean you’ll be secluded or exposed to dangerous conditions. It does mean that our property owners are making an effort to preserve the natural part of Western North Carolina for our children to enjoy.
While our wild mountains are home to some of North America’s largest mammals, they make up an amazingly small percentage of the wildlife in the area. Our certified properties have made an effort to support the vast majority of our woodland creatures such as our diverse birdlife, squirrels, groundhogs, beavers, caterpillars, spiders, and more. As one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, even a small plot of land in the mountains can host an amazing array of natural wildlife!
Learning To Respect Nature:
Here in the mountains, we take our natural resources seriously. This provides a great opportunity to learn about the region, and to teach young travelers about the importance of natural conservancy. It’s important for our certified habitats that they are not disturbed, so the wildlife has a chance to thrive alongside us humans! Some tips to keep in mind:
- Pack it in, pack it out. Our trash hurts nature. Please be sure to take out of the woods anything you took in. If you see someone else has ignored this rule, be kind and help us out! You’re always free to pick up and remove any litter you see, but please do not leave any.
- Looking and observing only. Most of our wildlife is very wary of humans, of course. Disturbing items such as a birdhouse or nest, poking a burrow with a stick, or turning over logs to see what’s underneath disturbs our wildlife and may cause them to permanently abandon their home. It’s also a good way to be bitten by a lurking spider, a cornered mouse, or other critter! Please do not disturb any habitat features you may find, and enjoy watching and observing with your eyes.
- Learning along the way. Keep your eyes open on any nature walks, and try to identify as many items as you can! Smart explorers take a note pad with them and make notes of any items they can’t identify. Later, it can be fun to look these items up on the internet to learn about them, and then try to identify them on sight the next time you have the opportunity!
- Have fun! With these few easy guidelines under your belt, you'll likely discover that the world is even bigger through the little things. Have fun when visiting Western North Carolina, and tell your friends what you saw when you get home!