Inspiring our children and grandchildren to witness the wonders of wildlife and the outdoors is critical to ensuring the conservation movement endures for generations to come.
Research shows that children who spend regular, positive time in nature develop a deeper, lifelong affection for the natural world and more empathy for wildlife. To nurture this connection to nature both at home and in communities, the National Wildlife Federation works with families, schools and youth groups to support conservation education in K-12 classrooms and beyond and promotes safe outdoor play through the Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO™) program.
Across America, people are purposefully planting for wildlife, making a conservation difference at home and advancing the wildlife gardening movement amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ program is more popular than ever, with a record number of people establishing Certified Wildlife Habitat®—including the 250,000th registration at the national headquarters of The Links Inc. and the establishment of more than 8,000 acres of open space through a partnership with Taylor Morrison, the country’s fifth-largest homebuilding company.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred Grounds™ program recognizes congregations, houses of worship and faith communities that create native plant gardens, actively link faith practices with caring for the environment and disseminate these practices. To earn Sacred Grounds certification as part of Garden for Wildlife, houses of worship conduct outreach within their congregations and into surrounding communities through workshops, garden tours, native plant sales and other education. These collaborations help build healthy habitats and communities.
By engaging large institutions, cities and universities, the National Wildlife Federation is leveraging its conservation muscle far beyond backyards. More than 500 cities across North America have signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to create native habitat in public parks, city landscaping, roadsides and open spaces. In Texas alone, more than 100 mayors have stepped up, reflecting critical commitments in a key region for monarch butterfly survival.
In addition, throughout nearly 300 campuses in 43 states, millions of students participated in the 2020 Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) competition, helping to recycle, donate and compost more than 48.6 million pounds of waste.