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Top 10 Tips to Promote Biodiversity

1. Research the types of native flora and fauna you might expect to find on your school grounds.

Aster Bee: Daisy Baxter

2. Certify your school as a Schoolyard Habitat.

  • Help restore habitat that gives local wildlife food, water, cover and places to raise their offspring.
  • Create a place for interdisciplinary learning and creative instruction.

3. Add an organic garden (or improve an existing one) on your school grounds.

  • Let students select what fruits and vegetables to grow and be involved in harvesting.
  • Show students the value of organic gardening and introduce them to natural pest management systems.

4. Replace invasive plants with natives.

  • Contact your local native plant society or state Department of Natural Resources to find out which plants are invasive in your area.
  • Learn the appropriate way to remove the specific invasive plant you are targeting.
  • Use systemic herbicides carefully as a last resort to remove invasive plants.

5. Consider reducing the percentage of hard surfaces on your school grounds.

  • Investigate whether it is possible to remove concrete in certain areas and replace with flower beds or a garden.
  • Consider using permeable pavers and other hard surfaces that allow for water filtration.
  • Use potted plants to add greenery and habitat to hard surface areas that will remain intact.

6. Participate in a citizen science project.

7. Encourage students to connect with nature by exploring and observing the great outdoors.

  • Take regular walks around the school grounds and invite students to point out plant and animal species.
  • Have students to keep a nature notebook or a tree journal.
  • Give students free time outdoors to simply explore and enjoy nature.

8. If you have wetlands or a body of water on or adjacent to your school grounds, learn how to protect it.

  • Avoid runoff by prohibiting use of pesticides and fertilizer on school grounds.
  • Use native plants and shrubs as buffers near water.
  • Create signs that encourage people not to litter or pollute.

9. Make your school grounds a safe and inviting place where flora, fauna and students can all flourish.

  • Avoid using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
  • Attract birds by installing nesting boxes, bird baths and feeding stations.
  • Put up barriers and establish pathways to prevent people from trampling on and damaging established habitat.
  • Choose plants that will attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.

10. Educate the school community about the importance of biodiversity.

  • Ask someone from a local organization (such as a zoo or native plant society) to give a presentation about biodiversity for students.
  • Put up signs highlighting the different types of plants and animals that call your school grounds home.
  • Discuss with students how the ecosystem they live in differs from ecosystems in other parts of the world, and what plants and animals make it unique

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