Habitat degradation and loss is the worst threat to wildlife populations in the United States, and across the world! Understanding the issues associated with habitat loss and species decline — and learning about effective means to make positive changes — is at the core of National Wildlife Federation's Schoolyard Habitats® program. Consider the following:
A Schoolyard Habitats site is a tangible product with nearly immediate results; youngsters can observe and compare the amount and variety of wildlife visiting their schoolyard after, and prior to, their work in developing a habitat site. This sends a clear message: we are able to take positive action for our environment in our own community.
From the ecosystem perspective, habitats developed on school grounds may provide valuable connections, or corridors, to larger, intact habitats. Through this learning process, youngsters, teachers, administrators, and community participants develop a sense of ecological awareness, stewardship, and "big picture" thinking.
In today's learning environments, where schools and learning centers are striving to meet and exceed high academic and youth development standards, educators and youth leaders must be creative in presenting content. The planning, design, implementation, and on-going monitoring and maintenance of a Schoolyard Habitats project provides endless opportunities to meet and exceed high academic standards across the curriculum. Teaching with the Schoolyard Habitats site as an integrating context across subject areas can support and deepen the quality of instruction and student engagement!