Houston Wild

Houston Wild promotes the creation and conservation of wildlife habitats within the city. Through community-wide collaboration and public education, the program encourages a well-balanced and healthy urban environment for people and wildlife. Even though we live in a large metropolitan area, there is wildlife all around us. The goal of Houston Wild is to support wildlife through the development and maintenance of habitats where theycan continue to flourish. We can all play an important part!

NWF Wildlife Habitat

Houston Wild is part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. It benefits the entire community through education and outreach. It promotes the use of native plants and landscaping to develop natural habitats that attract wildlife and birds, use little or no fertilizer and require modest watering.Local wildlife habitat in city spaces can qualify to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat. By registering your backyard, you join an active community of wildlife gardeners numbering over 400,000 nationwide. Being certified by the National Wildlife Federation makes you part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators in peril and celebrates your hard work in support of backyard wildlife. And,you are helping the entire city gain recognition as a Certified Wildlife Community.

Tips for creating wildlife habitat in your space in the city:

Provide food: Planting native forbs, shrubs and trees is an easy way to provide the foliage, nectar, pollen, berries, seeds and nuts that many species need to survive and thrive. You can also use supplemental feeders and food sources.

Supply water: Plants, birds, bugs and animals need clean water sources for drinking, bathing and reproduction. Water sources may include natural features such as ponds, lakes, rivers, springs, oceans and wetlands; or human-made features such as bird baths, puddling areas for butterflies, installed ponds or rain gardens.

Create cover: Wildlife requires places to hide in order to feel safe from people, predators and inclement weather. Use native vegetation, shrubs, thickets and brush piles, or even dead trees.

Give wildlife a place to raise their young: Wildlife need a sheltered place to raise their offspring. Many places for cover can double as locations for raising young, including wildflower meadows and bushes where many butterflies and moths lay their eggs, and caves where bats roost and form colonies.

Create a healthy habitat: Wildlife thrives where it can find food sources appropriate to their ecosystem, clean water, and plants free from harmful chemicals. Practicing sustainable gardening with native plants and water conservation, and not using pesticides or herbicides ensures wildlife abundance.

Get certified: Once you have provided these essential elements to make a healthy and sustainable wildlife habitat, join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have earned the distinction of being part of NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitat® program.

For more information and tips, go to Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Register Your Wildlife Habitat with H.P.A.R.D.

To register your Houston-area wildlife habitat, contact the program administrator at jed.aplaca@houstontx.gov

Houston Wild is managed for H.P.A.R.D. by Jed Aplaca, Natural Resources Manager. Jed works to develop the program, protect and manage the city’s natural resources and make informed decisions regarding best management practices.  Previously, Jed served the city for 7 years as a gardener, horticulturist and superintendent. Jed was raised in Hawaii and grew up in the outdoors. After completing internships with the NSF Pacific Young Scholars program, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, he attended Brigham Young University-Provo and completed his Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology.  After working with the US Forest Service Shrub Lab in Provo, Utah, Jed came to Texas, where he completed a Master’s in Science degree at Texas State University in Biology and began his career with H.P.A.R.D.

Lady Bird Johnson Tribute Wildflower Planting - October 10, 2015

H.P.A.R.D.’s 9th Annual Lady Bird Johnson Tribute Wildflower Planting took place at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, October 10, 2015. Every fall, an army of volunteers meets to spread native wildflower seeds that will fill the city with vibrant colors come spring. This is one of the most popular volunteer events for Houstonians. Thanks to our loyal volunteers!