Archive for September, 2010

Conservation Habits = Healthy Habitats

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Conservation Habits = Healthy Habitats

If you need additional information contact: Susan Schultz NACD Stewardship & Education stewardship@nacdnet.org 317-326-2952

Conservation Habits = Healthy Habitats

What is a habitat?

the environment in which an animal or plant normally lives or grows Name some habitats:

Habitats in your backyard

No matter where you live – you have habitats all around you

Name some of the habitat areas at or near your home
Possible items
Trees – for birds, insects and other wildlife

Grass for insects, worms and other life

Compost piles of leaves to make soil to add to your garden or flower beds and to recycle your leaves into soil And more

Habitats at your school
Every school has an outdoor classroom. When you step outside your schools doors
you can see the sky and observe rain running off of a parking lot or sidewalk. You can even take buckets and use them like seats like these students in Virginia   Many schools plant trees and install water features to study in their classes

Can you list what types of habitats you have at your school ?

Many communities are looking to increase the amount of habitat. They plant trees along streets, improve parking lots by adding vegetation so less water runs off the parking lot and improve the parks for visitors. Can you list some of the habitats you have seen in your community?


What can you do to add or improve habitat areas?

Plant trees, learn ways you can keep your water clean, take care of your soil, and provide habitat areas for insects, animals and plants List ideas:

Follow these easy steps and in no time YOU will be providing a home for wildlife!

  1. Make a sketch of the space you are going to make your wildlife habitat and remember that YOU are part of the habitat. In your sketch be sure to include all the different types of plants and trees, buildings and sidewalks or paths.
  2. Research what types of wildlife and plants are native to your community. Decide which species you would like to provide a habitat for. Native species are best because they can survive your soil type and climate.
  3. Add the trees, shrubs and plants you need in your habitat to your sketch. Make sure you have a good variety. Some plants will be a good food source, others will be shelter and cover for wildlifeEvergreens are a great species for year round shelter, trees and shrubs that have fruit or berries are a good food source.
  4. Start planting! Begin with the trees and follow with shrubs, plants and ground cover. Remember your research – add
    native plants to attract native wildlife

Pollinators aren’t just annoying insects, they are an important part of the web of life that we all depend upon for our very survival! Over 80% of the world’s flowering plants wouldn’t survive if it weren’t for pollinators. Why do YOU need those flowering plants? A lot of fruits and vegetables come from flowering plants, 25% of everything we eat and drink … they need to be pollinated
Even that glass of milk you had with breakfast or the juicy hamburger you ate for lunch depended on pollinators if they came from cattle raised on alfalfa!

A lot of medicines come from flowering plants… they need to be pollinated
You couldn’t wear blue jeans without pollinators…cotton plants need to be pollinated.

Many animals and birds that are an important part of your ecosystem seek food and shelter in flowering plants… they need to be pollinated !

So help provide habitats to increase the number of pollinators.

Additional information for your area:

Pollinator Guides

http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm

Backyard Conservation

http://www.nacdnet.org/education/backyard/

National Wildlife Federation

Certify your backyard Community Habitats School Habitats

http://www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife/

And never litter! Which can harm habitats, animals and plants
Think how much nicer our habitats will be without litter – and who causes litter?
Look around and see how litter is impacting your local communities habitats

2009 Categories

Grades K-1 Grades 2-3 Grades 4-6 Grades 7-9 Grades 10-12

Design your posters using some of these ideas: Habitat around your home Habitat at your school Habitat in your community Pollinators importance to habitats

Discuss and share your information with others!


Poster Ideas

These are some past national poster contest winners Additional posters at http://nacdnet.org/education/contests/poster/

Attracts attention Is simple and clear Uses colors and white space to get and hold attention Letters are large enough to be easily read
Research the topic of the theme Brainstorm ideas and make a list Think of the theme and use the theme as your title

Conservation Habits = Healthy Habitats – Tips to remember


Don’t use too many words Use a combination of illustrations and words Be as neat as you can Blend colors when using crayons or colored pencils Depending on design leave white space on the poster Make sure the poster is balanced
Choose colors carefully. Note the following general guidelines: -Black tends to be more formal, neat, rich, strong -Blue is cool, melancholy -Purple is considered royal, rich -Yellow tends to be warm, light, or ripe -Green is fresh, young, or growing -White means clean, and neat -Red attracts the eye, is high energy -Orange attracts the eye


Don’t try to include too many ideas or activities on your poster. A single message, clearly illustrated, is more effective

Things you should not do

Cover poster with lamination or other clear covering Use staples, tacks, or tape Use fluorescent posters Create a poster that is all words or a poster that is all pictures
Decide on information to include on the poster Research the theme topic Sketch out your idea Mark guidelines for lettering (lightly) Clean up the poster so it is neat. Erase any guidelines that are showing.


Steps to follow when making a poster

Turn poster in on time for judging.

Attach poster entry form on the back and be sure it is signed by a parent or guardian. Entry must be contestant’s original, hand done creation and may not be traced from

photographs or other artists’ published works.

Any media may be used to create a flat or two-dimensional effect (paint, crayon
colored pencil, charcoal, paper or other materials)
Poster size must be between 8.5″ x 11″ and 22″ x 28″. Or the size required by your local or state contest

Conservation message—50 percent Visual effectiveness—30 percent Originality—10 percent and Universal appeal—10 percent

“The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.

Aldo Leopold

Visit

www.nacdnet.org

Stewardship & Education

For additional information on

NACD Education Material on Habitat, Soil and Water Teachers guide Student booklets and more………………………..


To find information about how to conduct a speech contest visit:

http://www.nacdnet.org/stewardship/speech_essay_contest_ideas.pdf

To find information about how to conduct an essay contest visit:

http://www.nacdnet.org/stewardship/speech_essay_contest_ideas.pdf

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