How Old Do You Have to Be to Help with Habitat Restoration?
K-2 students get involved in Habitat Restoration

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Everyone should know that each day we have a choice. Will we harm the environment or help the environment? Kindergarteners, first, and second graders from Summit Environment Elementary school learned that we have that choice every day during a program the Midwest Fisheries Center did at the Norskedalen Heritage Center. Learning that many of our native fish and wildlife are endangered can be a burden no matter the age but knowing that we can help reminds us that we can make a difference by participating in conservation.

Student holds seedball before getting ready to find a spot to plant it.

The Problem:

Students learned that fish breath underwater through their gills and for them to be healthy they need clean water! As they took a deep breath, they imagined what it would be like to breathe in a lot of dirt. Not pleasant, right? Unfortunately, that is something that many fish need to overcome as many streams are victims of erosion. Now let’s get out of the water and up on the land which has its own set of problems. Habitat loss is the cause of many species’ declining populations. Pollinators are no exception. Unknowingly, the solution to their problem gets mowed and their habitat disappears one flower at a time.

Students plant native seed plants on stream bank.

The Solution:

Thankfully, our young citizens decided to participate in the enhancing of fish and pollinator habitat at Norskedalen. Students chose which native species they wanted to plant: Joe Pye Weed, Swamp Milkweed, or Blue Vervain. The roots will hold onto soil on the riverbank and prevent erosion and the flower provides food for pollinators. You’re never too young to participate in conservation! Citizen participation is vital as 80% of land in Wisconsin is privately owned. Next year, when our young citizens visit again and they see their flower, they can remember the choice they made to help the environment and that what they do really matters.

Contact Cristina Stahl if you are interested in Outreach Programs by the Midwest Fisheries Center.

Story Tags

Education outreach
Habitat restoration
Riparian areas

Recreational Activities