The innovative habitat improvement projects in this year’s kit are based on the theme “Community Action Makes a World of Difference for Wildlife”. It’s an essential concept for today’s young people to grasp. The following projects have been specially designed to teach them the advantages and the dynamics of working in the community. Students will learn that their actions will benefit not only wildlife — all the undomesticated plants and animals that we share the Earth with — but also the entire natural community, of which we are all a part.
We hope you enjoy the kit! And don’t be shy about adapting projects to suit your own needs or ideas. One of the best ways for students to learn is by doing. So let’s help them out!
A word of caution before we get started: please make sure that your project provides concrete benefits for wildlife. Merely beautifying an area is not an acceptable goal.
- Community Action Makes a World of Difference for Wildlife
You can think of a natural community as all the plants and animals in a particular habitat that are bound together by food-chains and other interactions.
- Develop a Community Action Plan
So you want to launch a community project. Great! The first thing you need to do is select an area in your community for your project.
- Build Your Team
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.
- Implement Your Plan
You can accomplish an amazing range of projects with a little community teamwork! Here are some more ideas to help you get started.
- Work for Wet Places!
Wetlands are amazing places. They are some of the most productive areas for wildlife in the world.
- Link Up With Other Communities
Let's see if we can get every community in your region involved!
- The Northern Community
The projects in this section are designed especially — but not exclusively — for residents of northern communities.
- Make a World of Difference
In many parts of the world, we’re using resources faster than they can be replenished. To stop this, we must start now to manage the planet’s resources so that they can continue to keep us and future generations alive. But how do we do this?
- Let students decide on the action plan. They should investigate the problem to be solved and become “experts” on it. This will help them build a sense of personal connection to the project.
- Work towards something. Know your goal!
- Consider how much maintenance will be involved in any potential project. Don’t take on more than you can handle.
- Choose a project that can be carried out in increments over a school year or over a two- or three - year period.
- Always seek permission from appropriate sources (landowners, etc.) before beginning any work.
- Be persistent! If your project isn’t a complete success, learn from your mistakes and try again.
- Work in small groups.
- Take extra care if you’re working in a forest or around water.
- Make sure that students wear proper clothing and foot gear.
- Don’t forget to bring along sunscreen and insect repellent!
- Use a buddy system to prevent students from getting separated or lost.