FAQs, Project Guidances and training videos to help navigate your Conservation Certification application preparation.

What is a program?
A program is a collection of conservation practices, organized into projects, with one or more conservation or conservation education objective. Program exists at sites—one site has one program. Programs must have one qualifying project to be certified.

What is a project?
A project is a distinct effort towards a conservation or education objective that requires unified management. Projects are based in habitats and can be implemented to manage habitat and/or species, advance education, and/or meet additional objectives like green infrastructure or remediation. See the list of possible projects below.

What is a site?
A site is a contiguous land unit (possibly including a water body) composed of individual land units that touch at a point or share a common border. These contiguous land units can have different ownership (e.g. two business units, one business and one public park), or different legal status (e.g. one section zoned for industrial and another for conservation). Exceptions include the following:

  • Physical proximity — Non-contiguous land units may be combined into a single site if the land units are physically proximate with regards to their conservation context. The most common examples of this are sites with fragmented land units (e.g. public road bifurcating two land units, a water body separating land units, several islands in the same estuary). Generally, land units meet the physical proximity exception if they are:
    1. Within 20 kilometers of each other
    2. Managed by a single team
  • Rights of way — Utilities often manage land units with a patchwork of ownerships and legal statuses as a single linear system. These rights of way are contiguous land units that can be classified as a site or multiple sites.
  • Off-site educational projects — Education projects associated with a site can take place outside of a site. This may happen when students are not permitted on a site for safety reasons. The organization owning the site may travel to a school with educational materials related to the site’s biodiversity. These off-site educational projects have no bearing on determining if a land unit is a site.Off-site education projects can be so large that are either (1) a project that exists at multiple sites (possible understood as a multi-site program or a landscape scale program) or (2) a corporate initiative on conservation education. As a guideline,  conservation education efforts that have activities at more than one site   are multi-site programs or corporate initiatives. This is different than an education project that has activities at one site and several off site locations, such as 5 middle schools.Examples are provided below. If your program does not readily align in a site and you believe it should, please contact your primary contact at WHC or email


Why habitat type?
A project takes place in a habitat. We adapted a list of habitat categories from the IUCN. You will need to provide basic information about the habitat during the application process.

What are the possible projects?
Habitat Projects:
Caves and Subterranean
Marine Intertidal
Rocky Areas
Other Habitat

Species Management Projects:
Invasive Species
Reptiles and Amphibians
Other Species Management

Education and Awareness Projects:
Awareness and Community Engagement
Formal Learning
Other Education and Awareness

Other Options Projects:
Green Infrastructure*
Integrated Vegetation Management
Land Conservation Agreements*
Species of Concern*
Invasive Species – Coordinated Approaches*

* These “Other Options” projects alone will not qualify a program for Conservation Certification. In order to qualify for Conservation Certification, these “Other Options” projects must be accompanied by at least one qualifying habitat, species, or education project. 

What are the fees?
USD 250 per new program registration*
USD 1,000 per application for members
USD 2,000 per application for non-members

*Existing programs, including Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning programs that have not expired, are not charged a registration fee. Programs that utilize WHC strategy and planning services before registering online may have their registration fee waived. Contact your WHC relationship manager or email us.

Fees may change at the beginning of any calendar year.

What are the qualifying questions?
For a project to qualify toward Conservation Certification, you must be able to answer “yes” to five questions.

  1. Is the project locally appropriate?
  2. Does it have a stated conservation or education objective?
  3. Does it provide value or benefit to the natural community?
  4. Have outcomes been measured and is there supporting documentation?
  5. Does it exceed any pertinent regulatory requirements?

Let us help guide you through your conservation project, from the initial design phase to the application process. Download Project Guidances

Click to view training videos on the various features of Conservation Certification.

For more information contact   |   301.588.8664 x3

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