Virginia.gov

Virginia Habitat Partners

Enroll in the
Corporate Habitat Program

Register Your Proposed Project »

Wildlife Habitat Council

DGIF will be exhibiting at the Wildlife Habitat Council's 24th Annual Symposium.

Learn more about WHC »

Corporate Habitat Program

Habitat Partners© offers a Corporate Habitat Program that is open to businesses and industries interested in habitat improvement projects on their lands which will make a substantial contribution to the welfare of wildlife communities.

One of the goals of Habitat Partners© is to promote species diversity and enhancement of game and non-game wildlife populations. By encouraging companies to establish or improve wildlife conservation practices, and by providing a framework for recognition of these corporate conservation projects, we hope to improve wildlife education opportunities for a company's employees as well as for the citizens of the local community.

What is "habitat"?

Habitat refers to the essential elements that all wildlife species need to survive: adequate food, water and shelter in an appropriate arrangement. A diverse habitat is one that has a wide range of plant types, layers and edges that provide cover from weather and predators, nectar sources for insects, nuts and berries for birds and mammals, and places to raise young. The more diverse the habitat features, the greater the diversity of wildlife that can live there.

Why is habitat important?

The face of our landscape is constantly changing, and with increasing urbanization and development comes fragmentation and loss of critical habitats. Habitat loss is the greatest single factor adversely affecting wildlife populations today. The Corporate Habitat Program provides an incentive for large company landowners to "give something back" to wildlife.

How can habitat be improved?

Many corporations are surrounded by large tracts of land where habitat improvements can be made. Take a look around the grounds of your company, and you're bound to find "waste" areas where enhancements might be appropriate. Some examples of habitat improvements include the following:

  • convert high-maintenance lawn areas to native warm-season grass meadows
  • install a nest box trail
  • improve stream buffers or corridors
  • plant food plots and brood strips
  • add trees and shrubs to the landscape
  • provide nectar sources for butterflies
  • supply a water source or upgrade an existing water feature for wildlife
  • enhance winter cover with brush piles

Qualifying Projects

The Corporate Habitat Program targets new corporate habitat improvement projects that will impact a substantial cumulative acreage, such that a significant benefit to wildlife is realized. In addition, the project tract(s) must be in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws.

The Habitat Plan

The ideal plan is one that has the potential to increase wildlife species diversity on your particular tract of land and that makes a substantial contribution to the enhancement or restoration of wildlife communities. Employee participation in the project and community cooperation are strongly encouraged. DGIF will give special consideration to plans that improve or enhance habitats for species of special concern or threatened or endangered species, as well as to plans that address the restoration of or improvements to wetlands, riparian corridors, early successional areas, and fish passageways.

DGIF's Role

DGIF staff will make a site visit to assess the habitat improvement opportunities on your property and assist you with determining the best strategy for planning and implementing a new project. We can provide recommendations about habitat composition and arrangement, appropriate native plant choices, and maintenance techniques. We can also provide an education program for your employees that reinforces the benefits of your habitat project.

Project Recognition

After the project is installed, the final step in the process is to submit a report of project results. DGIF staff will then conduct a final review. If the project has accomplished program goals, a Habitat Partners© Corporate Certificate will be awarded. DGIF will also provide a Habitat Partners© sign.