Virginia Community Receives First-Ever Wildlife Sanctuary Certification for Senior Living Community

by Jeff Shaw

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The Fairfax, a military retirement community in Fort Belvoir owned and operated by Sunrise Senior Living, has become the first seniors housing community to receive wildlife sanctuary certification from the Audubon Society.

Beginning in 2012, The Fairfax resident and retired Navy officer James Harkin began working with the Audubon at Home program of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia to encourage more birds, butterflies and other wildlife to visit the community’s campus, which includes a seven-acre lake and numerous nature trails.

Sunrise team members and several other residents planted native plants, reduced pesticide and fertilizer use, and removed invasive species. Residents and employees observed 10 “sanctuary species” using the property for building nests, feeding and foraging, and raising young, qualifying the property as a sanctuary.

More than 40 species of birds and butterflies have found a home at The Fairfax Wildlife Sanctuary.

You may also like