Planning Tool: Understanding How Actions are Awarded

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The new planning tool allows you to identify the goals that you most care about at each site you map. For each goal there a set of actions you can complete to help reach your goal and support wildlife or work towards better community outcomes. This article summarizes each possible action and links you an article explaining how to get credit for it by changing your map, or the characteristics of a habitat or object on the map.

Action Details

Rain Barrel:


Store rainwater from your roof allowing reuse instead of contributing to runoff.

Awarded When:

At least one rain barrel object () has been added to your map and you’ve set the characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER CONSERVE RESOURCES

Lawn less than 25% of landscaping:


Minimize the size of a lawn to up the wildlife value of a site while decreasing maintenance.

Awarded When:

Total area of all lawn polygons () on the map must be less than 25% of all the non-building polygons in total. So, in this measurement we exclude buildings () and pavement polygons (), and only compare the lawn area to the total landscaped area of a site (flowers (), ground (), shrubbery (), forest (), grasses (), water (), other, and wetland ()).

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER CONSERVE RESOURCES

Managing for natives on 50% of planted area:


Help support ecological functions by managing for natives on at least 50% of your planted area.

Awarded When:

Awarded when you’ve set the characteristics on all your plant-based habitat polygons to indicate that you manage for natives formally or informally and that, in total, results in at least 50% of your planted areas (flowers (), shrubbery (), forest (), grasses (), stormwater management (), and wetland ()) being managed for natives.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach this Goal:

MANAGE WATER

Rain garden or Bioswale:


Collect rain water in gardens or swales to slow and filter water before it reenters the ecosystem.

Awarded When:

Awarded when you’ve added a stormwater management polygon () to your map and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER CONSERVE RESOURCES

Flowers irrigated infrequently:


Plant native flowers in dense clusters, add mulch, and let the rain do the rest, no need to water.

Awarded When:

Awarded when you’ve added a flowers polygon(s) () to your map and set its characteristics to indicate that it is irrigated never, or monthly.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER

Lawn irrigated infrequently:


Water lawn less. In many places, it is normal for them to go dormant during the late, hot summer.

Awarded When:

Awarded when you’ve added a lawn polygon(s) () to your map and set its characteristics to indicate that it is irrigated never, or monthly.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER

Shrubbery irrigated infrequently:


Water shrubbery less. Consider mulching for water retention.

Awarded When:

You’ve added a shrub polygon(s) () to your map and set its characteristics to indicate that it is irrigated never, or monthly.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER

Impervious hardscape less than 50% of area:


Flooding can be intensified by impervious surfaces, which allow rainwater to quickly fill rivers. Less impervious landscaping means water has more opportunity to absorb into the ground.

Awarded When:

You’ve added a pavement polygon(s) () to your map and set its characteristics to indicate that it is “impervious.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

MANAGE WATER CONSERVE RESOURCES

Join a group:


Find a group to connect to other mappers working towards the same goals.

Awarded When:

Awarded when you’ve added your site to a group using the Groups Tool.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

EMPOWER COMMUNITY

Look at at least 10 other sites:


Check out what other mappers are doing in your neighborhood and across the world. Get inspired.

Awarded When:

You’ve browsed Habitat Network and clicked on at least 10 other sites.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

EMPOWER COMMUNITY

Create a group:


Create a group to connect with those in your community. The options are endless.

Awarded When:

You use the Groups Tool to create a group for your neighborhood, region, organization or special interest.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

EMPOWER COMMUNITY

Map a shared greenspace (park, office, median, etc):


Map your favorite public space to connect you to others who share your interest in investing in community.

Awarded When:

You map a City Park, Community Garden, Nature Preserve, Office, or Other site.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

EMPOWER COMMUNITY

Food Garden:


Food gardens provide a nutritious source of food and habitat resources for wildlife.

Awarded When:

You’ve mapped an edible garden polygon () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

BE HEALTHIER CONSERVE RESOURCES

Decrease use of gas-powered mowers:


Reducing the amount of fossil fuel used and emissions will improve air quality for everyone.

Awarded When:

All lawn polygons combined () are less than 25% of non-building or paved areas, or an electric (or reel) is mower used.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

BE HEALTHIER

Choose a reel-powered mower:


Cut your grass and burn more calories mowing while also reducing air pollution

Awarded When:

You have a lawn polygon () and have set the mower characteristic to reel mower.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

BE HEALTHIER

Increase area covered by plants:


Having a lot of plants can benefit you and your property.

Awarded When:

The non-building, non-lawn habigons are greater than 75% of the total mapped area. So, +++++ is at least 75% of ++++++++++ other

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

BE HEALTHIER

Decrease use of chemicals (herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers):


Reducing dependency on chemicals benefits the health of humans and wildlife.

Awarded When:

You set your site’s characteristics to no use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

BE HEALTHIER

Increase canopy cover (for shade and air quality):


Trees are good for us. They can keep us cool in the summer and clean the air year-round.

Awarded When:

You add a new tree object (of any kind()) and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

BE HEALTHIER

Alternative energy source used:


Use an alternative energy source–solar, wind, or geothermal–to reduce impact.

Awarded When:

You add one or more of Habitat Network’s alternative energy icons (geothermal station (), solar panels (), or windmill ()) and set their characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

CONSERVE RESOURCES

Composting practiced:


Minimize the amount of organics sent to landfills and turn them into nutrient-rich soil by composting.

Awarded When:

You add at least one compost bin object () and set its characteristics .

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

CONSERVE RESOURCES

Green roof or roof painted reflective color (like white):


Green roofs create habitat. White roofs reflect heat. Both reduce energy use.

Awarded When:

You have added a building polygon () and set the roof characteristic to either “white” or “green.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

CONSERVE RESOURCES

No use of herbicides and insecticides:


Getting rid of herbicides and insecticides helps keep water runoff safe and protects aquatic life.

Awarded When:

You have set your site characteristics to both “no” herbicide use, and “no” insecticide/pesticide” use.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

CONSERVE RESOURCES

ID a Plant:


Identifying plants can be difficult. Engage your mind and challenge yourself. Learn something new.

Awarded When:

You identified at least one plant object () by setting its species.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

ENGAGE NATURE

Add a habitat feature:


Animals need habitat to thrive, but adding a habitat feature can also bring nature closer, allowing you to more closely observe bees, butterflies, birds, lizards, or even bats.

Awarded When:

There is at least one of the following objects on your map: bird feeder (), bat house (), bee house (), nestbox (), bird bath(), hibernacula (), or pollinator garden.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

ENGAGE NATURE

Monitor and Report Bird Data:


Take yourself to the next level, connect your site eBird to help measure the impact of habitat.

Awarded When:

You have connected your site to eBird using the birds tab.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

ENGAGE NATURE

Find a local nature preserve, visit it, and map it:


Benefit from spending time outside. Find a new nature preserve to explore and make it your own by adding it to the Habitat Network.

Awarded When:

You have mapped a public space such as a city park, nature preserve, community garden, or office park.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

ENGAGE NATURE

Plant something new:


Keep your mind sharp and your body active by adding a new plant.

Awarded When:

You add a new plant () and identify it at some point after you first create your map.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

ENGAGE NATURE

No free-roaming cats:


Cats kill billions of birds, mammals and reptiles a year. Take a stand and keep your pet inside.

Awarded When:

You set your site characteristic for cat to “no cat,” or “inside cat.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS SUPPORT LIZARDS

Native tree or shrub with food source:


Wildlife rely on native trees & shrubs to provide a source of berries, nuts, and insects.

Awarded When:

You have added at least one tree () or shrub object () to your map and indicated it was native and provided a food source using the characteristics tool.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS

Native evergreen tree or shrub:


Trees that don’t lose their leaves are an important source of cover for wildlife.

Awarded When:

You have added at least one tree () or shrub object () to your map and indicated it was native and evergreen using the characteristics tool.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS

Native deciduous tree or shrub:


Native plants are great at supporting insect populations, so planting one can ensure wildlife are able to find the food they need to survive.

Awarded When:

You have added at least one tree () or shrub object () to your map and indicated it was native and deciduous using the characteristics tool.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS

Leaf litter left on-sight:


Fallen leaves create a secret world for invertebrates and nourish the soil.

Awarded When:

You have set the leaf characteristic for your site to “Left on-site.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS SUPPORT POLLINATORS SUPPORT AMPHIBIANS

Snag:


Dead trees provide critical shelter and food for many species.

Awarded When:

You have added a snag object () to your map.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Nestbox :


Offer quality nesting opportunities by installing a box for cavity-nesting birds.

Awarded When:

You have added a nestbox object () to your map.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS

No use of insecticides:


Cutting out insecticides means letting insects help restore ecological balance.

Awarded When:

You have set the insecticide characteristic for your site to “No use.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Water Feature:


Water is a critical part of habitat. Provide a fresh, clean source for maximum benefit.

Awarded When:

You added a birdbath , or other habitat type indicating there is water (), like a pond or stream, to your map.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT BIRDS

Native Flowers:


Invest in natives to ensure pollinators access to high-quality nectar, pollen and host plants for breeding.

Awarded When:

You added a planter (), or other flowers/ herbs habitat type () and set the characteristics to indicate it contains native plants.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Bare earth for nesting:


Some species of native bees need safe, bare ground to build their nests and lay their eggs.

Awarded When:

You add a ground habitat polygon () and set the characteristics to indicate it is a sand or soil area.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Unmowed grasses or meadow:


Leaving a grassy area, or meadow, unmowed helps diversify habitat and provides a source of pollen, nectar, and seed.

Awarded When:

You add a grasses (not lawn) habitat polygon () and set the characteristics to indicate it is at least 50% native.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT POLLINATORS

No use of herbicides:


Getting rid of herbicides promotes a thriving community of plants used as a source of nectar by native insects.

Awarded When:

You set the characteristics for the site to indicate that no herbicides are used.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Solitary Bee House:


Native pollinators need nesting habitat, add a bee house to help them out.

Awarded When:

You add a bee house object () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Pollinator Garden:

Native, flowering plants across the growing season provide pollinator food-sources.

Awarded When:

You add a flowers polygon () and set its pollinator garden characteristic to “yes.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT POLLINATORS

Freshwater pond, stream, lake, or river:


Water is a critical part of habitat. Provide a fresh, clean source for maximum benefit.

Awarded When:

You add a water polygon () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT AMPHIBIANS SUPPORT TURTLES SUPPORT DRAGONFLIES

Wetland or rain garden area:


Wetlands are an important habitat and a critical resource for maintaining landscape integrity.

Awarded When:

You add a wetland and/or stormwater management polygon ( ) and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT AMPHIBIANS SUPPORT DRAGONFLIES

Rock pile available:


Add a rock pile to provide crevices for animals to hide, lay eggs, and seek protection.

Awarded When:

You add a rockpile object () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT LIZARDS

Log available:


Logs provide shelter to wildlife and add nutrients to your soil through decomposition.

Awarded When:

You add a log object () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT LIZARDS

Cover board available:


Animals use cover boards for hiding and protection, install one to support animals at your site.

Awarded When:

You add a cover board object () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT LIZARDS SUPPORT AMPHIBIANS

Wetland area:


Wetlands are an important habitat and a critical resource for maintaining landscape integrity.

Awarded When:

You add a wetland polygon () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT TURTLES

Log in water:


Wildlife utilize logs in water as sun perches while providing wildlife viewing opportunities.

Awarded When:

You add a log object () on top of (or overlapping) a water polygon () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT TURTLES

Rock(s) in water:


Wildlife utilize rocks in water as sun perches while providing wildlife viewing opportunities.

Awarded When:

You add a rock object () on top of (or overlapping) a water polygon () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT TURTLES

Shoreline of water area left wild:


Creating a wild shoreline provides shelter, cleans the water, and protects wildlife.

Awarded When:

You add a water polygon () and set its shoreline characteristic to “Left wild” or “Managed for wildlife.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT TURTLES SUPPORT DRAGONFLIES

Hibernacula available:


Create spaces for small animals to hibernate for the winter on your property.

Awarded When:

You add a hibernaculum object () and set its characteristics.

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT LIZARDS

Wildlife-friendly mowing used:


Minimize damage done during mowing with simple changes.

Awarded When:

You add a grasses habigon () and set its mowing characteristic to “wildlife-friendly mowing.”

Get directions on how to get credit by changing your map

Helps to reach these Goals:

SUPPORT LIZARDS

MANAGE WATER
EMPOWER COMMUNITY
BE HEALTHIER
CONSERVE RESOURCES
ENGAGE NATURE
SUPPORT BIRDS
SUPPORT POLLINATORS
SUPPORT AMPHIBIANS
SUPPORT TURTLES
SUPPORT LIZARDS
SUPPORT DRAGONFLIES

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