Native plants are the backbone of your schoolyard habitat site! They form the basis of essential habitat elements for just about all animals — food, water, shelter, and places to raise young. Without plants, you don't have a schoolyard habitat site.
Choosing what plants to put into your habitat is important — you’ll want to select plants that are native to your area and that will attract the kinds of wildlife you would like to see visiting and using your habitat. Selecting the right plants is one of the key elements to creating a successful site.
A native plant is a species that naturally occurs in an area and has not been introduced from another region or country. Native plants thrive in their natural settings without disrupting ecological processes because they are perfectly adapted to the conditions of that area. Native plants provide the best diversity of habitat elements for wildlife. Wildlife species have evolved to rely upon native plants as food, cover, and sometimes even for water. National Wildlife Federation® strongly encourages the use of native plants in all new plantings.
By choosing native plants for your Schoolyard Habitats® site, you will:
How do I find out which plants are native to my area? A good question! To find out, visit eNature.com®.
The following activities will help students explore the plants in their surroundings.