Living and Working Together
Team building is important. More can be accomplished by a group than by individuals, and members feel that they are making a real contribution. Working with a small team, or even with just a buddy, will instill a sense of pride in your project and, even more importantly, in your community.
Look Around you!
You can find team members in lots of places. Listed below are a few suggestions on where to start. Use your imagination to come up with other ways of getting people involved in your project.
- After you've developed your action plan, present it to another class.
- Ask your school's custodial and grounds staff for advice and consult with them often.
- Outline your project for the principal of your school.
- Approach your board of education or its environmental committee (if there is one).
- Discuss your plan at a meeting of a parent-teacher organization or youth group.
- Make a presentation to your municipal council.
- Prepare a flyer announcing a wildlife habitat improvement day and deliver it to your friends and neighbours. Make sure that you provide all the necessary details.
Find a Habitat Hero
Is there a wildlife habitat hero in your community? This person might be a local conservation officer or the head of an environmental group, for example.
Snoop around. Pretend that you're a detective on a case. Ask family, friends, and neighbours. Take notes! Read your local newspaper and listen to the news.
Once you've found a hero, invite him or her to your class to give a talk. Then present your ideas and ask for advice. Maybe you'd like to dedicate the project in your hero's name!
Grow a Bee and Butterfly Garden
Bees and butterflies occupy an important niche in the natural community. Not only are they a food source for lots of wildlife, but they also act as pollinators by flying from flower to flower. If you want to make a bee and butterfly garden in your neighbourhood, keep in mind that butterflies will only lay their eggs on plants that provide the right kind of food for caterpillars. And be sure to leave some bare areas of sand or rock for the butterflies to sun themselves on.
The following plants are favourites of bees and butterflies. Those marked with an asterisk are also considered good sources of food for caterpillars.
Businesses like to be involved in community projects. Ask them if they would be interested in supplying you with materials and equipment. In return, you could give them free publicity by acknowledging their contribution in your newsletter. Or you could erect a sign at your project site saying something like "This Habitat 2020 project was made possible with help from Wilson's Nursery." It’s also a good idea to send thank-you notes to sponsors.
The following are some examples of businesses you could contact and materials they could supply.
- Nursery: trees, shrubs, plants
- Landscape company: soil, plants, rocks
- Hardware store: shovels, rakes, trowels
- Co-op: seed for food plots
- Drugstore: plastic gloves and bags for collecting garbage
- Lumber company: scraps for building bird feeders, nest boxes, bat houses, and other shelters
Create a Committee
If there are lots of people — such as a whole school — involved in your project, it's a good idea to set up a committee. Think variety when you do this. Members with diverse backgrounds will help ensure the project's success.
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