Paramus, New Jersey | Rockland County, NY

Scott Gunther

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Paramus, New Jersey

189 Route 17 South
Paramus, NJ 07652

Phone: (201) 599-0099
Fax: (201) 599-0772
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: Closed

Rockland County, New York

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Rockland County, NY 10994

Fax: (201) 599-0772

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Bergen County Audubon Society Announces
Certified Wildlife Garden Program

By Don Torino

For all of us that have grown up or have lived anywhere in New Jersey for any length of time, we all know far too well how many natural surroundings we have lost over the years. Today our preserved natural areas have become a quilt work of fragmented fields and forests surrounded by suburban over-development and landscaped with foreign plant species. This has stressed our bird, butterfly and pollinator populations to their limits, with little left for their battle for survival. New Jersey may be the first state to reach “build-out “, which simply means that one day all land in the garden state will be either built on or preserved and that will be it. In the end, that will leave us with vast areas of wasteland when it comes to wildlife unless we save the landscape in which we live.

In a concerted effort to connect and expand our forests, nature centers and preserves with a series of stepping stones that benefit migratory birds, butterflies and other wildlife, Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS) is introducing a new program that the entire community can take part in. Our new Certified Wildlife Garden program will allow homeowners, communities, schools, businesses, places of worship, nature centers and others anywhere in New Jersey to have their gardens that benefit wildlife certified by Bergen County Audubon Society. These certified gardens will be based primarily on the diversity of native plants in the landscape, which are the foundation of a healthy wildlife habitat. This program will help create and track wildlife environments that will ultimately form rest-stops to benefit not only our year round wildlife, but the migratory species well.

Although I have worked on habitat restoration projects for many years, the importance of preserving our backyard ecosystems was brought home to me this past summer. A BCAS volunteer was participating in our annual Monarch tagging program, a program in which the Monarch butterflies are tagged with a number to track their annual migration. We were taken aback when we found out that the butterflies that were tagged in his garden in Palisades Park showed up a few days later in another BCAS member’s butterfly garden in Hackensack, proving our point that every backyard habitat is important. We knew then we had to find a way to get as many people on board to restore the ecology of all our backyards.

Certified gardens will be given a number and marked on a map to illustrate wildlife areas that have been created. The map will be available on our website Upon completion and submission of your application, it will be reviewed and, if approved, you will be awarded a certificate for your efforts. The certificate will be emailed to you free of charge. Also, lawn signs may be provided for free on a limited basis.

This is something we all can do today. We will not need to write letters, call our representatives or a hold picket sign. No matter the size of your yard, you have the power to turn it into a beautiful landscape that benefits our birds and butterflies, and will help our future generations of both people and wildlife live in a much healthier and happier community.        

Throughout 2016 BCAS will be giving seminars on how to create Certified Wildlife Gardens that will help our birds and butterflies, and also make our community a better place for all of us to live.

To download an application for certification and our wildlife garden brochure go to

Please contact me if you need more info: or call 201-230-4983.


Creating a Wildlife Garden: Saturday, January 16th, 10AM

Don Torino, President of Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS), will show you what you'll need to create a healthy backyard wildlife habitat using native plants and other key components.  You will also learn about the new BCAS Certified Wildlife Garden program and how your yard can get certified.