Oakwood Village earned this designation from the National Wildlife Federation under its Garden for Wildlife™ program by:

  • creating wildlife-friendly spaces that provide food
  • at least one water source for drinking and bathing
  • cover for shelter from the weather and predators 
  • places to raise young 
  • employing sustainable land management practices 

The “Oakwood Oasis” helps sustain wildlife while connecting the campus community with the nature that surrounds it.

The Garden for Wildlife™ program works to restore habitats lost to rapid and large-scale changes to our earth’s lands and waters. Since 1973, the National Wildlife Federation has recognized over 200,000 spaces - representing 1.5 million acres – as Certified Wildlife Habitats. 

"Oakwood's seventy-two acres of land are definitely full of wonderful wildlife for all of the residents and staff to enjoy,” stated Annette Turner, Executive Director of Mercy Health - Oakwood Village Senior Living. “It's a beautiful place to take a walk and just breathe! We are so happy to provide a safe and natural environment for all the different birds and plants, deer, fox, squirrels, ducks and many other animals that all seem to know it's their home too! This also provides a therapeutic environment for the residents who live here, allowing them to enjoy all that God has created."

In recognition of this accomplishment, Oakwood Village received a personalized certificate to display and it will soon install a permanent garden plaque from the National Wildlife Federation designating our campus as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. In addition, because the habitat is home to many pollinator- and monarch-friendly plants, it’s registered as a participant of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the national strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.

Special thanks to residents Dr. Louis and Mrs. Ann Laux for assisting with the certification process and to Ruth Rudawski, who Lou and Ann credit with the initial inspiration for numerous projects. 

“Oakwood Village is blessed with much natural habitat where residents are able to participate in community gardening, sow our prairie, plan the trail through the woods, build nesting structures and care for the areas around their homes,” said Lou and Ann, who reviewed the standards for certification and found that Oakwood Village met 36 of 48 criteria.

Contributions to the new Heirloom Fund will provide perpetual enhancement of the grounds and habitats of Oakwood Village and may also be made to honor or remember a loved one. To learn about The Heirloom Fund, or to make a gift, contact Cheryl Hainey, Director of Legacy Initiatives, at 937-523-6632 or chainey@mercy.com.

More information about the National Wildlife Federation is available at: https://www.nwf.org. Read about the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge at: http://millionpollinatorgardens.org.