Here at The Mad Turkey Farm, we’re committed to being a sanctuary for farm animals, but our efforts don’t stop at the barnyard. We believe that all animals – from the native birds, to local amphibian and insect species – should have a safe, welcoming place to live and call home.
Working with the Northern Virginia chapter of the National Audubon Society, The Mad Turkey Farm recently earned “Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary” designation. Essentially, this designation means we protect habitat for local species on our farm, commit to conservation, and measure the results of our actions.
We’re very proud to have been a certified sanctuary through this program. The Audubon Society does such amazing work conserving habitat for wildlife, and we love working with the local chapter to help grow this program.
What Is an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary?
Here’s how the Northern Virginia Audubon Society describes the program: “The largest volume of acreage available for conservation and restoration of healthy green space in Northern Virginia is ‘at home’ in our own backyards.” In other words, the program was launched to encourage homeowners, homeowner associations, parks and other public and private lands (like our farm) to protect and conserve local habitat.
To be eligible, properties must be located in Northern Virginia and commit to three conservation guidelines:
- Attract 10 Sanctuary Species – There are more than 40 species targeted by the program, which are birds, mammals, insects, etc. that are beneficial, local and that are at risk. Species include birds like the Baltimore Oriole and Carolina Chickadee, as well as reptiles like the Eastern Box Turtle.
- Make the Healthy Yard Pledge – The pledge encourages limiting pesticides, conserving water, planting native species and protecting bird habitats.
- Measure Progress – To be certified, participants must also be willing to track their progress and observe changes over time.
Help Us Grow This Amazing Program – Take the Pledge!
What a cool program! We couldn’t be more excited to maintain and grow our wildlife sanctuary, and encourage our Northern Virginia neighbors to get involved as well. As of December 2020, more than 700 properties have been designated Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Interested if your property is eligible? To participate, all you need to do is fill out the application form on the Audubon’s website and schedule a no-cost at-home visit from an Audubon Society volunteer. Then, you work to attract 10 species, before submitting your application.
This is such an incredible effort from our friends at the Audubon Society, and we’re really enjoying tracking species at our farm. We’ve seen a wide range of birds, from American Goldfinches to summer-time Swallowtails!