National Wildlife Week
SAVE A SPOT ON YOUR CALENDAR FOR NATIONAL WILDLIFE WEEK 2017! Join the National Wildlife Federation’s Sweet Wildlife Sixteen! This is an opportunity for the whole school community to vote for their favorite wildlife species throughout the week. Each species will be complete with a variety of action and education opportunities. Check back periodically and look for updates on social media, @ecoschoolsusa.
Schoolyard Habitats: Trees for Wildlife
Are you interested in hosting a tree-planting event at your school or participating in a community tree giveaway this spring? The National Wildlife Federation will provide free native tree seedlings to Eco-Schools and certified Schoolyard Habitats® who meet the guidelines. Be sure to apply by February 10, 2017 for spring planting. Events can be held between April 1st and June 15th, 2017.
You’ll find a Tree Planting and Tree Care Guide along with other resources for approved projects on the National Wildlife Federation Trees for Wildlife website.
Wildlife Library: North America's Surprising Biodiversity Crisis
Biodiversity is the variety of life on our planet. But many species are in decline, including bumble bees, birds and freshwater fish. According to an article in the February/March issue of National Wildlife Magazine, “about a third of all U.S. species are at risk of extinction.“ Learn more and read the full story.
So what can schools do to increase biodiversity? In our Top Ten Tips to Promote Biodiversity, you’ll find ideas like creating a Schoolyard Habitat, planting native plants, taking part in citizen science projects or protecting any water on or adjacent to school grounds. Students can also use the NWF Wildlife Library to learn more about wildlife found in their own backyard, and threats that are endangering many species.
Ranger Rick Magazine and accompanying educator’s guide is a great biodiversity resource too! Check out the February issue.
GLOBE Training for Eco-Schools: Earth Systems Science in the your Schoolyard Habitat
Join this session already in progress. The course is self-paced and free of charge. Upon successful completion you will receive free field equipment to use with your students. The course is designed for teachers who are looking to engage their students in Green STEM, with learning opportunities that are rigorous, yet fun and take students out of the classroom and into the natural world to conduct a variety of field investigations. The current session is open to registrations through 2/15/17. Once registered, you will have through 3/15/17 to complete the course and receive your certificate of completion for 8 hours of professional development. Learn more about the course and register today!
Addressing the Eco-Schools USA Water Pathway provides a great opportunity for students to develop systems thinking skills as they work to better understand the water cycle and the impact of their daily water usage both at school and at home. Students can conduct a water audit to investigate school water use and identify inefficiencies. They will also have the opportunity to educate and engage the local community on the importance of a healthy watershed.
Eco-Schools USA has plenty of resources to help get you started. Take a look at our Top 10 Tips to Conserve Water to see if any of these ideas can be implemented at your school. Try the Water, Water, Everywhere? lesson, found in this month’s lesson highlight in the sidebar. And don’t forget to share your results and stories with us via social media @ecoschoolsusa.
Green Schools in Action chronicles the journey of Lutherville Laboratory, a Maryland magnet school, where students and teachers have been busy cultivating a culture of environmental stewardship. Their advice to schools just beginning their Eco-Schools journey is to start small with projects such as pollinator gardens or waste reduction effort. They also share about the collaborative partnership with their sister school in Taiwan through the USA-Taiwan Eco-Campus Partnership. Take a minute to read their inspiring story.