Application Information & Instructions

Application Instructions

Below are the four requirements necessary for certification. We recommend that you read through them before you begin your online application. It is helpful to compose your responses in a text document and simply cut and paste them into the form when you are ready to apply. For those that are using the mail-in option, we request that responses be type-written for legibility.

Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary Online Application Form

Download the Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary Application for Mail-In Here

Requirement #1
Your yard must have plantings especially suited to attracting birds and butterflies and provide the four basic elements of habitat: Food, Shelter, Water and Space.  This may include trees and shrubs to provide nesting cover for birds, berry-producing shrubs, flowers for hummingbirds and butterflies, plants grown specifically for bees and caterpillars.  It may also include nest boxes if there is space, and should have a birdbath, small pond or other source of water.

Requirement #2
You must agree to use a minimal amount of chemicals in maintaining your sanctuary. Many herbicides and pesticides are detrimental to birds, bees and butterflies, and can also be harmful to people and pets.

  • List an example of how you have controlled exotic plants or weeds without the use of chemicals.

Requirement #3
You must use your yard or grounds to educate other people about the importance of bird and butterfly plantings. This can take many forms–simply telling neighbors and visitors about the Illinois Audubon Society Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary Project and showing them the habitat improvements in your yard; giving a presentation to a group concerning the importance of backyard habitat and gardening with natives, or inviting them to view your yard.

  • List an example of how you have used your yard to educate friends, neighbors, a group or organization.

Requirement #4
Include photographs which clearly support examples of the four components of habitat in your backyard or grounds. (Unless requested, photos submitted with mail-in applications will not be returned.)