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Certification Criteria

Backyard Habitat Certification Levels

Silver:
  • Remove 100% of "silver" aggressive weeds from property
  • Naturescape at least 5% of available property with native plants
  • Include at least 3 out of 5 canopy levels
  • Pick at least one item from each of the Stormwater and Wildlife Stewardship menus
  • Develop plan to reach Gold Certification (recommended)
Gold:
  • Meet all requirements of Silver level
  • Remove 100% of "gold" aggressive weeds from property
  • Naturescape at least 15% of available property with native plants
  • Include at least 4 of the 5 canopy levels
  • Pick two items from each of Stormwater and Wildlife Stewardship menus
  • Develop plan to reach Platinum Certification (recommended)
Platinum:
  • Meet all requirements of Silver and Gold levels
  • Remove 100% of "platinum" aggressive weeds from property
  • Naturescape at least 50% of property with native plants
  • Include at least 5 out of 5 canopy levels
  • Pick three items from each of Stormwater and Wildlife Stewardship menus
  • Pick one item from Education and Volunteerism menu

Five canopy levels: groundcover, small/medium shrubs, large shrubs, small trees, and large trees

Menu Items

Wildlife Stewardship
  • Have a wildlife water feature
  • Have avian nest boxes for native species
  • Have bat houses
  • Have Mason bee houses
  • Keep cats indoors at all times, or in an outdoor enclosure
  • Have a snag or decomposing nurse log
  • Reduce outdoor lighting
  • Reduce bird window collisions
  • Have a native meadow with a mix of 3-season-blooming forbs and grasses

Stormwater Management**
  • Have a large canopy tree for stormwater absorption
  • Disconnect downspouts (where appropriate)
  • Have a rain garden
  • Grass or impervious pavement on less than 5% of property (minus house)
  • Have an ecoroof
  • Take the Metro "No Pesticides Pledge" (required for gold)
  • Decommission all or part of an existing irrigation system
  • No use of moderate or high hazard chemicals (See Metro Grow Smart Grow Safe Guide)
  • Use a rain sensor on an exisiting irrigation system

**Stormwater options are different for each property. It is important to research the most appropriate items for your site before implementation.

Education and Volunteerism
  • Recruit 2 neighbors
  • Allow site/yard to be showcased in garden tours or Metro tour
  • Volunteer for Certification Program and/or mentor other Backyard Habitat homeowners
  • Attend continuing education classes
  • Participate in OSU Extension Master Gardener Programs
  • Become a trained "Weed Watcher" through the Early Detection Rapid Response Program

 

Aggressive Weeds

Silver Weeds
False Brome, Pokeweed, Garlic Mustard, Butterfly Bush, Yellow Flag Iris, Purple Loosestrife, Knotweed, Traveler’s Joy, Ivy (all cultivars), Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Blackberry, Gorse, Meadow Hawkweed, Pampas Grass, Spotted/Meadow and Diffuse knapweeds, Policeman's Helmet 

Gold Weeds
Shining and Robert Geranium, Hedge Bindweed, Lesser Celandine, Spurge Laurel, Scot's Broom, Yellow Archangle, Purple Star thistle, Evergreen Blackberry, Norway Maple*, Tree-of-heaven*, English Holly* (*Large trees exempt for gold but not for Platinum level)

Platinum Weeds
Spatulaleaf Loosestrife, Large and Small-leaf Periwinkle, "weedy" Fennel, Reed Canarygrass, creeping buttercup

Download

Download a printable PDF version of the BHCP Criteria HERE

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