Blossoming Backyard Habitat

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By Katee

We have been seeing so many crows gathering nesting supplies, squirrels nibbling camelias, bees buzzing in the bluebells, and even hearing baby birds chirping in our evergreen tree.  The children are already aware of the needs of a habitat- food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young. Kerry has talked about these needs for a variety of animals and people too.  We have focused inside our classroom on human homes lately, but all this spring excitement outside has us wondering more about the animals again.

I showed them a special project I once did at another school where we worked to certify our yard as a National Wildlife Habitat.  The children all agreed that they also wanted to do the same! So we have been looking through our yard and asking many questions.  It’s incredible how this perspective has made them look at this outdoor space they know so well with new eyes, and so many wonderings. Do we have what it takes to be a NWF Habitat?

The children have been labeling plants everywhere to understand more of what we have around us to offer other living creatures.  This has made for some great practice in writing, botany, and it looks so cute.  I love that human, reading, visitors will be able to come in and see this visible learning and also maybe learn a few plants themselves.

We went through their survey and found that we exceed the requirements for food sources, shelter, places to raise young, and sustainable practices. However, there was one thing that was missing, and its an important one- water!  While we do have a bird bath, we all agreed that it isn’t usually filled with water, but more of a potion station instead.  So we came up with an idea to craft another bird bath and Kerry made it all happen.  We found a big plate and Kerry brought a sturdy tomato cage, and voila! A birdbath, complete with resting stones for bees and butterflies, that fits right in our pollinator garden.

So today we made the last check mark on our questionnaire, and sent off our information to the National Wildlife Federation to apply for certification!

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