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Oakwood Village Now a Certified Wildlife Habitat

Oakwood Village Now a Certified Wildlife Habitat

Rapid and large-scale changes to our earth’s lands and waters mean wildlife are losing the habitats they once knew. The National Wildlife Federation is taking steps to restore these habitats and maintain wildlife populations with its Garden for Wildlife™ program. Through this program, Oakwood Village recently demonstrated its commitment to wildlife by becoming a Certified Wildlife Habitat. This designation is awarded for creating wildlife-friendly spaces that provide food, at least one water source for drinking and bathing, cover for shelter from the weather and predators, places to raise young, and by employing sustainable land management practices. Since 1973, over 200,000 spaces - representing 1.5 million acres – have been recognized as Certified Wildlife Habitats; and now our “Oakwood Oasis” will help sustain wildlife while connecting our campus community with the nature that surrounds it.

"Oakwood's seventy-two acres of land are definitely full of wonderful wildlife for all of the residents and staff to enjoy,” stated Annette Turner, Executive Director of Mercy-Health Oakwood Village Senior Living. “It's a beautiful place to take a walk and just breathe! We are so happy to provide a safe and natural environment for all the different birds and plants, deer, fox, squirrels, ducks, and many other animals that all seem to know it's their home too! This also provides a therapeutic environment for the residents who live here, allowing them to enjoy all that God has created."

In recognition of this accomplishment, Oakwood Village received a personalized certificate to display, and a permanent garden plaque from the National Wildlife Federation designating our campus as a Certified Wildlife Habitat will be installed soon. In addition, because of our many pollinator- and monarch-friendly plants, our habitat has also been registered as a participant of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the national strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.

Special thanks to residents Dr. Louis and Mrs. Ann Laux for assisting with the certification process, and to Ruth Rudawski, who Lou and Ann credit with the initial inspiration for numerous projects. “Oakwood Village is blessed with much natural habitat where residents are able to participate in community gardening, sow our prairie, plan the trail through the woods, build nesting structures, and care for the areas around their homes,” the couple added. Lou and Ann reviewed the standards for certification and found that Oakwood Village met 36 of 48 criteria.

Contributions to our new Heirloom Fund will provide perpetual enhancement of the grounds and habitats of Oakwood Village and may also be made to honor or remember a loved one. To learn about The Heirloom Fund, or to make a gift, contact Cheryl Hainey, Director of Legacy Initiatives, at (937) 523-6632 or chainey@mercy.com.

More information about the National Wildlife Federation is available at: https://www.nwf.org. Read about the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge at: http://millionpollinatorgardens.org.


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