© Salt Spring Elementary kids gardening

Habitat Stewardship Initiative

Create new habitat in your schoolyard that provides food and shelter for wildlife, supports species at risk and improves ecosystem connectivity and resilience

Habitat Stewardship Initiative

In addressing today’s ecological challenges, educators are recognizing the need for students to foster a caring relationship with the natural world. Children are the future caretakers of our planet, and it is crucial that we inspire a lifelong interest in and respect for the natural world. WWF-Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Initiative provides a toolkit that educators can use to implement ecological restoration and stewardship activities with their students. There are many ways to build or enhance habitats with native plants. The toolkit suggests a variety of ideas and gives tips for implementing them. Whether you want to grow a pollinator meadow, a productive veggie patch or an Indigenous reconciliation garden, we’re here to help you achieve your goals. Connecting classrooms to the local ecosystem is a way to show students how they can be a force of good for nature. From there, we can imagine and work towards a future where nature and people thrive together.

Creating habitat in the schoolyard

Classrooms can follow an easy three-stage process:

  1. Learn: Learn about your local ecosystem, its history, biodiversity, how it works and what it needs. This includes:
    • Types of local habitat spaces,
    • Indigenous knowledge and stewardship,
    • Plants that grow in your area, and
    • Understanding why native plants are important
  2. Plant: Actively engage in ecological restoration by planting locally sourced native plants.
    • Choose and assess a site for habitat restoration
    • Plan and prepare the site for planting
    • Source the best plants for your project
    • Collect necessary materials and tools
    • Learn important tips for planting and plant care
  3. Connect: Extend and deepen relationships through conservation activities year-round.
    • Monitor plants as they grow
    • Observe wildlife and pollinators
    • Engage with your community
    • Harvest seeds and fruits!

Getting students outside to plant native plants and restore habitats has numerous benefits, including mental health and well-being. Students will also learn about local biodiversity, endangered species and increase their awareness of climate change.

Look At How We're Doing

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