National Wildlife Week, March 18-24, Celebrates "Branching Out for Wildlife"

Children Learn About the Value of Trees for Wildlife

02-19-2013 // Mary Burnette
Diagram that shows how to assemble the Mega-Poster for National Wildlife Week 2013

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will be helping children get to the root of things during the 75th annual National Wildlife Week, March 18-24. Families, youth organizations, and communities will be coming together to celebrate the many ways trees help sustain local wildlife and enhance the environment. With a theme of “Branching Out For Wildlife,” the week, sponsored by NWF, will also provide opportunities to restore habitat and re-build communities by planting trees where they can do the most good.

School and youth groups can apply to host a tree planting with NWF which will provide native trees adapted to the local climate. The National Wildlife Week website provides a guide to help organize an event by giving step-by-step instructions to ensure that the planted trees grow and thrive. More than 100 events are already being planned across the country including several in the New York metro and New Jersey areas in an effort to restore wildlife habitat destroyed by Superstorm Sandy last year.

NWF’s goal is to plant 75,000 trees to mark the 75th anniversary of National Wildlife Week.

Students and teachers will benefit from the many online resources developed by NWF to celebrate the week, including lesson plans, posters, trading cards and after-school activities.

“Children love learning about wildlife and their habitat. National Wildlife Week will inspire educators and caregivers to take their kids outdoors to explore the natural world, plant trees, and learn the important ways trees contribute to a healthy environment,” said Kevin Coyle, VP of Education and Training for the National Wildlife Federation.

These are just a few of the facts children will learn about trees:

  • Trees clean the air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) - In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.
     
  • Trees save water - Shade from trees slows water evaporation. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week.
     
  • Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays - Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent which is why they can benefit schoolyards and playgrounds. Trees also provide shade for wildlife to escape the sun’s hot rays while protecting them from wild and other harsh weather conditions.
     
  • Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife - Sycamore and oak trees are among the many urban species that provide excellent homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

The attractive color posters developed for National Wildlife Week display the different parts of a tree from roots to leaves, and the wildlife that frequent those parts. The poster can be downloaded as a PDF for free from the National Wildlife Week website.

Kids will be encouraged to take what they have learned into the field where they can check out the trees where they live and the wildlife that call those trees home. NWF’s Wildlife Watch can help identify different tree and wildlife species so kids can share what they have observed on the Wildlife Watch website.

National Wildlife Week is NWF’s longest running education program designed to teach kids about the wonders of nature and inspire their interest in spending more time outside. As today’s indoor childhood becomes more of a reality, National Wildlife Week also plays a key role in NWF’s three year goal of getting 10 million more kids outdoors on a more regular basis.
 

Learn more about National Wildlife Week and about resources and lesson plans available >>

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