Homeowners in a northern utah town want property certified as wildlife habitat

Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-02 20:20:50-04

NIBLEY, Utah -- A Utah man is leading a movement to get the small town of Nibley certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

His proposal essentially means that a certain number of homeowners would share their yards with animals and insects.

Ron Hellstern, the man behind the effort, said people often try to separate themselves from nature.

"My dad used to come here from Illinois and we would go up the canyon and he says, 'Why? Why don't you just take a chair and put it in your backyard, what are you going to see there that you can't see here?'," Hellstern said. "I started looking around thinking, 'Well yeah, I guess he's right.'"

Hellstern certified his yard in Nibley as a wildlife habitat in 2008, and he has encouraged his neighbors to do the same ever since then.

The National Wildlife Federation requires that people provide food, water, shelter, and a place for animals to raise their young.

So far, 60 Nibley homeowners have added water features and plants and flowers that attract wildlife.

"We found we were doing a lot of the things anyway," said homeowner David Mann. "It's a natural thing. This helped us to be more aware of what we could do to do a better job of that."

Now the neighborhood is trying to grow the effort and get the entire town designated as a wildlife habitat, which would require 15 more people to take part.

"We've had calls from Brigham City and Mendon and Smithfield, people are starting to catch on to this idea and they want to do it. They can do their own homes, and get a few neighbors," Hellstern said.

You can learn more about attracting wildlife at: