In October of 2010, The Galena Territory was officially designated a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat, the 46th in the country and the first in Illinois, Iowa or Wisconsin. "We commend the dedicated residents of The Galena Territory for their wildlife conservation efforts and for coming together for a common purpose - to create a community where people and wildlife can flourish," said Roxanne Paul, senior coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). "At a time when communities are faced with the problems of losing habitat to development, The Galena Territory stands out as a model for other communities to emulate."
The Community Wildlife Habitat project is part of the NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. These projects benefit the entire community of plants, wildlife, and people through the creation of sustainable landscapes that require little or no pesticides, fertilizers, and excess watering. These landscapes help keep water and air resources clean. They are healthier for people and the environment, and are less resource-dependent than conventional landscapes. Habitat landscapes can serve to beautify urban areas and give residents pride in their neighborhoods. A Community Wildlife Habitat project multiples this positive effect by creating multiple habitat areas in backyards, schoolyards, corporate properties, community gardens, parkland and other spaces.
Property owner volunteers assist Emily Lubcke, GTA Greenspace & Lake coordinator, in a number of ongoing habitat conservation projects, including prairie restorations, invasive plant removals, trail and lake clean-up days (called Vulture Days), controlled burns, lake monitoring and stocking, and educational seminars for students of all ages.
The Habitat Certification team, a subcommittee of the Greenspace Committee, worked close to 18 months documenting all the activities required for NWF certification. In all, 100 homes, one of the local schools (Scales Mound School), the Property Owners' Club Complex, the Marina at Lake Galena and two Greenspace areas have become Certified Wildlife Habitats, providing the foundation for The Galena Territory's certification as a Community Wildlife Habitat.