By: Mary Phillips, Head of Garden for Wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation
Plant with a purpose to help wildlife, people, and the planet.
Sourdough starter. A new furry family member. A bevy of new plants adorning the house-turned-virtual-office. During the COVID-19 lockdown, when companions and new hobbies became a focal point for millions of people, these were some of the most popular go-tos for those looking to make the most of their quarantined time at home. And while we’re big fans of both sourdough bread and four-legged pets, native plants are kinda our thing at the National Wildlife Federation.
As America’s largest and most trusted conservation organization since our founding in 1936, we were pretty thrilled by this new interest in plants and home gardens. In fact, at the onset of the pandemic, Garden for Wildlife saw a 50% increase in participation for our programs and a five-fold jump in people searching for wildlife and gardening tips online. To meet the uptick in demand — and to harness a rapidly growing interest in home gardens — our team started looking for ways to build a new community of wildlife gardeners and scale our impact across the country.
Building a Better Platform
In response to this unprecedented demand for plants that could be delivered right to your door, we worked hand-in-hand with Accenture to launch a new Garden for Wildlife e-commerce platform this spring. The program — and the site itself — inspires and provides DIY planting solutions for anyone to both support local wildlife and address climate change directly, helping you to do good in your own backyard.
The platform integrates Shopify with Salesforce to manage all customer communications and orders. Plans to harness Tableau analytics will enable us to leverage Salesforce data and gain further insights around the changing needs of Garden for Wildlife growers, and provide helpful information around gardener interests.
This unique approach to increase native plant habitat comes at a pivotal time, as wildlife is rapidly disappearing as the climate crisis escalates and more than a million acres of urban and suburban native habitat is lost to development annually.
The Garden for Wildlife program inspires and provides DIY planting solutions for anyone to both support local wildlife and address climate change directly, helping you to do good in your own backyard.
Native Plants Help Combat Climate Change
When you plant with purpose, you have the power to minimize climate change impact. Native plants — which are defined as those occurring naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction — are especially important because they offer the most sustainable habitat, thanks to the symbiotic relationships they’ve built with native wildlife over thousands of years. We believe that every person can be part of the answer to a major factor of climate change, and planting native plants in your backyard or neighborhood is a great place to start. Garden for Wildlife plant collections are curated through a conservation science lens and include keystone native plants, or those that support the highest numbers of butterflies, bees, and birds.
In the six months since launching our new and improved platform, 20,000 plants have been introduced by the Garden for Wildlife community in close to 4,000 gardens, providing over 200,000 sq ft of garden habitat.
Join the movement in planting with a purpose to help wildlife, people, and the planet. Visit our website, and use code DREAMFORCE30 to save 30% on Garden for Wildlife native plant collections. Offer ends September 30, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Available for 21 states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest. Shipping is always free and tax is included.
Sign up for your free Salesforce+ account and tune in to see Garden for Wildlife’s 30-second spot, which will debut during Dreamforce at 3:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 during the session titled Purpose-Driven Ventures: Ecopreneurs Scaling Climate Impact.
About the Author
Head of Garden for Wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation
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