The Naturalized Habitat Network of Essex County& Windsor

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About Our Organization

     Southern Ontario is home to an astonishing range of species of both plants and animals. Our ecosystem is one of the most unique and fascinating in all of North America. However, with only 3.7 % of our forests remaining here in Essex County, much of our remaining flora and fauna are rare or endangered.
     To help reverse this trend, the Naturalized Habitat Network of Essex County and Windsor has been created. Through ongoing education and support, we are able to help our members incorporate native plants, attract wildlife and foster environmentally sound gardening practices. In doing so, our members experience the joys of gardening while making a positive impact on the environment.

Our members have attracted more than 63 species of butterflies

     Our members join our organization by one of two primary ways; through our standard membership or throgh our Naturalized Landscape Classes. Information on both is found in the Resources section. To meet the various needs of our members, our organization offers a variety of innovative educational approaches, including six-week classes as well as day-long workshops. Furthermore, we enhance our members' experiences with a number of activities and special events throughout the year.

The gardens of program members have provided nesting places for many birds, including green herons, screech owls and cardinals.

     Since our organization began, we have helped to transform landscapes across Essex County and Windsor and beyond. By joining the Naturalized Habitat Network, you can join hundreds of area residents who have invited nature into their homes while creating their own personal oasis. To learn more about what our organization can do for you and your landscape, check out our resources page!


We believe in...

  1. a program whose strength is found at the local level, whose representatives, events and resources are community based.
  2. carrying out our work through education, consultation, newsletters and special events, or any activity which promotes backyard naturalization.
  3. maintaining and supporting our activities through a variety of creative partnerships with organizations whose goals are compatible with our own.
  4. providing resources and activities that are safe, reliable and cost effective, as a non-profit initiative.
  5. accountability between our partners, directors, and staff.
  6. demonstrating environmental leadership within the community, without engaging in local conflicts or political controversies.
  7. promoting the concept of naturalized gardening through the dual principles of natural habitat and earth stewardship.
  8. conducting ourselves in accordance with this program's policy of Natural Gardening Ethics.
  9. fostering a sense of community that is supportive and encouraging, while respecting each member's privacy and confidentiality.
  10. creating landscapes that are practical as well as sustainable, benefiting both people and wildlife.

"Sometimes people ask me 'just what is the Naturalized Habitat Program?' Well, we're not a government agency, even though we work with some. We're not a garden club either, although we work with those too. We're more than just a program, a club, or a series of courses and events. Yet, when you look at the changes we bring about and the people we impact, what it comes down to is this; we're a gardening revolution."
- Dan Bissonnette, Program Coordinator