Growing Home™ Habitat Certification

Bring birds, bees, and butterflies to your pocket nature preserve! Growing Home™ is an award-winning program from Red-tail Land Conservancy where individuals and organizations in east central Indiana who transform their yard, garden or other outdoor area into a place that supports wildlife can have their outdoor space certified as a healthy habitat by local botanical specialists.

New and experienced gardeners who are motivated to join the global movement to combat habitat loss, learn about the importance of native plants and animals, and beautify their community can follow the Growing Home Guide to create places that attract and support birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. The Growing Home Committee can provide guidance to gardeners who need help getting started. Click the “Certification Guide” button to download the Growing Home Guide.

Yards, gardens and other outdoor areas that meet the Growing Home criteria can become certified by submitting an application. Yard signs are available for owners of certified habitats, showing their commitment to creating places for wildlife to thrive.

Gardeners can get started and apply at any time, but the information and photos submitted in the application must be from last 12 months. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and will be reviewed by the committee each August.

Applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis. The deadline to be considered for certification in 2024 is July 31.

How does it work?

  • Transform a yard, garden or outdoor space to meet the Growing Home certification criteria
  • Complete the application below anytime throughout the year
  • A committee of botanical specialists review your application and photos in August
  • If approved, you are awarded a Growing Home certificate (free) and given the option to purchase a yard sign for $30 (includes shipping)

Important note: Review the detailed list of criteria and important notes listed in the Growing Home Guide before applying.

Certification Criteria

  • Habitat must be in east central Indiana
  • Offer at least 2 food sources for wildlife
  • Offer at least 1 water source for wildlife
  • Offer at least 1 source of cover for wildlife
  • Offer at least 1 place for wildlife to raise young
  • Have at least 3 species of native plants
  • Managed with at least 2 sustainable practices
  • Free of Indiana’s banned invasive plants

Important note: Photos showing how the criteria are being met are a significant part of the certification review process.

What if I need help?

  • Download the Growing Home Guide for ideas on how to meet the criteria. It’s beginner friendly!
  • Schedule mentorship from a Growing Home committee member (May-July) (click HERE)
  • Visit a library near you to find copies of helpful books (listed in the Growing Home Guide)
  • Follow Red-tail Land Conservancy on Facebook to hear about free workshops and find videos

Thank you to our 2024 sponsors!