Join us for a yearlong celebration as Eco-Schools USA and Eco-Schools international celebrate its 10th and 25th birthday, respectively. Each month National Wildlife Federation will be sharing stories to celebrate our schools, our program’s evolution and the significant strides we have made to reduce our environmental footprint, support wildlife and create more sustainable schools and communities.
Wetlands are land areas saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains, and swamps while coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even coral reefs. Urban constructed wetlands, fish ponds, rice paddies, and salt pans are examples of human-made wetlands.
February 2nd of each year is World Wetlands Day and is used to raise global awareness about the vital role wetlands play in the lives of people and for the health of our planet. As climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing humanity and our planet, this year’s theme is Wetlands and Climate Change.
Using a School Garden to Learn about School Food Sustainability
What is a National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat®? If we asked that question to the thousands of schools that have either certified their school grounds or implemented the Schoolyard Habitats® pathway, we would surely get a wide range of answers. Many Eco-Schools around the country have transformed a portion of their school grounds or indoor classrooms into garden space where students can get their hands dirty and learn about sustainable food practices. Whether it’s an urban rooftop garden, large raised beds, colorful containers, or a classroom hydroponics set-up, students are learning about sustainable food practices in an authentic way, and using knowledge to improve the quality of food choices available both in the school cafeteria and local community. February is a good time to start thinking about spring planting – create an action plan detailing equipment, amendment and seed needs. Remember, regardless of regional location, seeds can be started indoors, in a greenhouse or using hydroponics.
In the February issue of Ranger Rick® magazine, students can read about the life of a six-week-old leopard cub in "Little Leopard’s Tail." Learn about the many traits that help leopards survive in diverse habitats such as deserts, forests and grasslands. These include sharp teeth for hunting, spotted fur to help blend in, and the ability to run as fast as 35 miles an hour. Find educational extensions related to the "Little Leopard’s Tail" along with other activities in the February Ranger Rick Educator’s Guide.
Schoolyard Habitats® Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
In February, we turn our pathway focus to Schoolyard Habitats® and related Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities. When transforming school grounds into outdoor learning spaces, do you also consider the co-benefits to the local community? A Kansas Eco-School created a QR Nature Trail with 17 informational signs providing both students and community members greater opportunity to connect with nature. Teachers can relate the Schoolyard Habitats® pathway to Global Goal 11 by connecting to several target goals—such as universal access to accessible, safe and inclusive green and public spaces, or supporting city plans for disaster resiliency. Schools can plan to utilize resilient features in the school garden to help mitigate issues like excess rainwater as a result of a hurricane. Read more on the blog about how Schoolyard Habitats Provide Resiliency in Houston Independent School District after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, benefiting both humans and wildlife as they recover from the devastating damage left in the wake of the hurricane.
Follow @EcoSchoolsUSA on Facebook and Twitter to get more tips and information related to this pathway and to the SDGs. Remind students to share our tips and information during morning announcements, news programming, and/or monthly communications. #GlobalGoal11 #SchoolyardHabitatsPathway
This is a reminder that all entries for the Young Reporters for the Environment Competition must be submitted by 2/22/19. Entries must be relevant to participants’ local community, connect to a global perspective, include possible solutions, and be disseminated to an appropriate target audience. Teachers, please remind students to follow all the specific submission requirements on our website. Submissions that do not meet the specified criteria will be disqualified.
Educational Camp Opportunity for Youth
Calling all youth age 8-18 with an interest in the natural world and the environment! Applications are now being accepted for the Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship, which will award one winner, along with a parent or guardian, the opportunity to attend a week-long outdoor educational camp. This year, the Family Nature Summit is being held at the Shanty Creek Resort near the Great Lakes shores of northern Michigan. The scholarship carries on the legacy of Craig Tufts, who was Chief Naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation for 33 years. Learn more and apply by March 22, 2019. Help us spread the word about this amazing scholarship opportunity!
The U.S. Senate votes to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, part of a package that also created more than a million acres of new wilderness and conservation areas in the western United States.Read More
Love is in the air! Take a lighthearted look at how North American wildlife get in on the concepts of friendship and romantic love.Read More
Discover the benefits of wind to wildlife, its risks to wildlife, and how we can mitigate these risks.Read the Report
Place your order today for the themed box that delivers everything you need to create family memories while discovering nature and wildlife.Learn More
You don't have to travel far to join us for an event. Attend an upcoming event with one of our regional centers.