2023 ABQ Backyard Refuge Certification Application

01/01/2023 12:05 AM - 12/31/2023 11:55 PM MT


We are so excited that you are interested in certifying your space as an ABQ Backyard Refuge!

Please keep in mind that any space can be certified as an ABQ Backyard Refuge including a front yard, patio, balcony, side yard, community space, or of course a backyard. Regardless of the size or location of your space, you will need to fill out this form (by clicking the button above) to begin the process of certifying your space for the first time. 

If you are new to the program, we recommend you start by reviewing the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program resources on the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program website (ABQbackyardrefuge.org) to help you set goals, design, and build a space for your wildlife neighbors at your home or in your community. You can fill out a short form in order to have a copy of the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program Introductory Guide emailed to you, and be sure to check out our regionally-specific Plant List, the iNaturalist Guide of our Plant List that includes photos and geographic distribution of each plant species, as well as our Partner Resources on the website

Here are some important steps and reminders to make this process easier:

  1. Use the Habitat Questions in either the PDF format or Microsoft Word format to prepare your answers for the online certification form. (You can use the habitat design workbook and ABQ Backyard Refuge Program Introductory Guide for reference as needed.)
  2. Next, fill out the Online Certification Form. (The form does not allow you to save work in progress, so have your prepared responses from the habitat question document handy!
  3. Submit the application, and make a donation if you're able to, in order to support your neighbors to also certify their ABQ Backyard Refuges.
  4. Email photos to our program staff to support your application and show off habitat elements in your space.

The Habitat Workbook provides an overview of certification and more detailed information about each certification component.  This can prepare you to fill out the online form but check out the Habitat Questions in either the PDF format or Microsoft Word because you may be able to answer them already! The workbook will help explore ways to add to your ABQ Backyard Refuge and seek higher levels of certification in the future!

After filling out the ABQ Backyard Refuge certification form, we ask that you email us photos of your space to confirm your certification status to certificationphotos@friendsofvalledeoro.org. This is an opportunity to show off your habitat. Before-and-after photos are great, but only current photos of your space are necessay. We will get in touch via email if we have any follow-up questions before awarding your certification. Otherwise, you will get an email confirmation within 2 weeks of receipt of your photos, notifying you of your certification status and level for this year. We will arrange a time to drop off your sign, or you can pick up your sign and stickers at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge visitor center. You will also receive stickers for adding to your sign, including the appropriate certification level and the 2023 commemorative sticker of a backyard species. (The 2023 species is a Bumble bee at a Sage plant!)

If you have any questions as you work through the certification form, please don't hesitate to reach out by emailing us at abqbackyardrefuge@friendsofvalledeoro.org. 

Neon CRM by Neon One


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