Stewardship—Habitat Restoration

Summary: Students improve or restore an outdoor habitat to make it more suitable for wildlife.

Concepts to teach: Stewardship, action, sustainability, habitats

Goals: Students use their knowledge about animal habitat requirements to improve or restore a local outdoor space for wildlife.

Standards:
S3.2L.1, S3.4D.1
S4.2L.1, S4.4D.1, S4.4D.2
S5.2L.1, S5.4D.1, S5.4D.2

Specific Objectives:

  1. Describe the environmental characteristics that make local areas suitable for wildlife.
  2. Identify an outdoor site that could be improved or restored so that it will be more suitable for wildlife.
  3. Implement a restoration plan, and provide for its sustainability.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • The National Wildlife Federation assists schools in developing outdoor classrooms called Schoolyard Habitats, where educators and students learn how to attract and support local wildlife.
  • KidsGardening.org has several classroom projects ideas for school gardens that attract and sustain wildlife.
  • 4-H Wildlife Stewards promote science learning and environmental stewardship among youth. They create sustainable wildlife habitat sites on school grounds by inspiring, educating, and connecting communities, schools, and natural resource agencies and organizations.
  • Become a NOAA Ocean Guardian classroom by conducting a stewardship project in your local watershed. See examples of school-based conservation projects for ideas.
  • The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) website has a page of amphibian education resources, including
    • Toad Abode—Create suitable hiding places for toads and to enhance outdoor sites.
  • More restoration project ideas: Butterfly garden, bat house, water feature for birds, bushes for birds, invasive plant removal, etc.
  • Conduct invasive species surveys in the schoolyard or nearby lands. Devise and carry out a plan to remove or reduce the spread of invasive species to maintain suitable habitat for native species.

Assessment:

  • Students present a restoration plan to a school or district administrator, PTA funding group, or other governing body to obtain permission and funding for their project.
  • Students announce and explain characteristics of the finished project to the community through a letter to the local newspaper, video, etc.