Episode 309: Wildlife Gardens

Butterflies in School Wildlife Garden on Growing a Greener World

Butterflies in School Wildlife Garden

As urban development is encroaching more and more on native landscapes, animal habitats shrink and birds and other animals in those areas are displaced. But we can help the situation by creating gardens that restore just a little piece of their habitat – even if we only have a small backyard or apartment balcony.

In this episode, we visit an innovative school that uses natural habitat gardens as outdoor classrooms to reconnect children to nature and teach environmental science.

The Ford School is just outside of Atlanta, in Acworth, Georgia. Launched over 17 years ago with only $200 and a single gardening bed, the gardens today cover almost 20 acres and include several wildlife habitats, nature trails, pollinator gardens, and edible landscapes.

Educational Wildlife Garden at the Ford School

Educational Wildlife Garden at the Ford School

The school’s extensive science and environmental program teaches nearly 700 students and involves their parents in the process so that many generations learn environmental life lessons. Currently, every class (from music to math) spends at least some time outdoors and they extend those lessons to include a service and outreach component that includes the community around them.

David Mizejewski of the National Wildlife Federation tells us about creating wildlife habitats in our own schools, homes, businesses and parks.

Robin enjoys birdbath in schoolyard wildlife garden

Robin enjoys birdbath in schoolyard wildlife garden

Creating a habitat not only helps the critters, it allows you to enjoy getting close up with birds and butterflies and bring pollinators to your veggies! There is a great deal we can do, from simply providing shelter and water, to learning about specific food and host plants to attract specific animals.

There is even a program for certifying your wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, and let us tell you Рputting that little plaque in the garden sure feels good!

Later in the episode, Chef Nathan Lyon gets a little “wild” with caramelized walnuts and beets in the kitchen. Delicious!

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About

Growing A Greener World is a national gardening series on Public Television that features organic gardening, green living and farm to table cooking. Each episode focuses on compelling and inspirational people making a difference through gardening. This gardening series covers everything from edible gardening and sustainable agriculture to seasonal cooking and preserving the harvest.

Comments

  1. says

    Wonderful episode! The schoolyard habitat segment was particularly inspiring. So lovely to see kids and grown-ups alike embrace the outdoor learning opportunities. Cheers to gardening for wildlife and its many shapes and forms….

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