There is nothing more hopeful than hearing about partnering environmental groups, willing teachers and eager students coming together to create a native habitat at a school.
Appropriately named, Hope Elementary School in Carlsbad, California did just that on January 17, 2013. They planted over 50 different native plants, shrubs and trees in their new Native Habitat Exploration Garden. (see U-T San Diego News article here)
Partners in Fish and Wildlife gave the school a three thousand dollar grant to create a four thousand square foot native habitat. The event was coordinated by Jonathan Snapp-Cook, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist.
The benefits of this program might be obvious – but they are critical in helping future conservationists:
–Improved habitat – providing habitat for local and migratory wildlife
–Teaching and learning – limitless options to teach and explore – from learning native plants to history and geography.
–Stewardship : What better way to teach children how to be stewards of the land?
–Social development – Not only does this help kids learn to explore but it gets them outside in nature.
With partners such as the National Fish and Wildlife Service, students can be reached on a school-wide level and have a daily accessible place to study, learn and appreciate wildlife.
The biggest benefit of coordinating this type of habitat creation, aside from monetary help, is that the school receives expert advice and instructions on how to properly create a wonderful habitat to attract wildlife and how to maintain the environment.
Download the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide – (PDF) – this is a planning guide for creating schoolyard habitat and outdoor classroom projects.
Carlsbad, Ca is 35 miles north of San Diego, Ca