Sanctuary Certification


Photo © Jacqueline McRae

Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program


Local property owners are encouraged to establish their yards as beneficial habitats for wildlife. When requirements are met, homeowners receive signs stating that their property is registered as a "wildlife sanctuary" with Atlanta Audubon Society.


Large Property Sanctuary Program


Area residential developers are encouraged to use landscape design techniques beneficial to wildlife habitat and install nesting boxes on their properties. On completion of this type of project, a planting design and box installation plan is submitted to AAS and a "Wildlife Sanctuary" sign is installed on the property.

AAS hopes to continue expanding the Wildlife Sanctuary program. It is anticipated that more developers and commercial property owners will participate in this program. We hope to encourage residential subdivision owners and homeowners' associations, business park owners/managers, and golf course owners/managers to become involved with this effort as both an environmental initiative and a community outreach program.


For more information, email Cindy Mayer. Mail applications to Atlanta Audubon Society, 4055 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30342. Click here for an application.


Creating a wildlife sanctuary in your backyard is an important commitment to conserving and protecting our environment. You can provide a backyard habitat for wildlife—it's as simple as assuring these essential elements:


  • Shelter - active nesting areas or shelters that attract and protect birds and other wildlife. 

  • Food - feeders and plantings that offer seeds, flowers, and berries to wildlife. 

  • Water - birdbaths, water gardens, or natural features with flowing water.

  • Nesting Sites - bird boxes, natural cavities, or wood piles and vine tangles.


Please note that the sanctuaries should have sources of shelter, food, water, and nesting sites. They also should have a significant representation of native plants and any invasive species, such as kudzu, privet or ivy, should be removed or strictly controlled.


Download Wildlife Sanctuary Certification Criteria (please DO NOT submit this form with your application.  Your certifier will tell you when to submit)


Watch the Georgia Outdoors Backyard Habitat Special on Georgia Public Broadcasting

Many backyards habitats and gardens meet wildlife sanctuary requirements and are worthy of recognition by Atlanta Audubon Society. AAS recognizes these habitats by providing an attractive sign designating the property as a wildlife sanctuary.


Apply for the Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Program by completing an application form.

These websites offer helpful advice on creating your own backyard habitat:  


National Wildlife Federation: Garden for Wildlife

Attracting Wildlife to Your Backyard

The Needs of Wildlife: Cover and Space

How to Create a Haven for Hummingbirds  

Audubon's Guide to a Healthy Yard

Georgia Native Plant Society

Cats Indoors Campaign