National Wildlife Federation Certifies New Hill City Elementary Schoolyard Habitat
8/17/2020 ~ by Destini Shope, Director of Community Engagement and Public Relations | Pickens County School District
National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that Hill City Elementary in Jasper, Ga. has successfully created a Certified Schoolyard Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. Hill City Elementary has joined with over 5,000 schools nationwide that have transformed their schoolyards into thriving wildlife habitats that provides essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. The habitat also serves as an outdoor education site where students can engage in cross-curricular learning in a hands-on way.
Certification also makes your Certified Wildlife Habitat® part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.
“We are excited to have another school join our growing list of more than 5,000 certified Schoolyard Habitats. Kids can now personally experience nature through hands-on learning in an outdoor environment,” said Liz Soper, Director of K-12 Programs for National Wildlife Federation.
The Hill City Elementary habitat is located just off of the playground. Students can visit the gardens during their outside play time or with their classroom teacher. A variety of plants have been planted to encourage wildlife. Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, brown thrashers, and a variety of other birds have been seen visiting. Feeders, bird houses and water stations are located throughout the garden. An additional location at Hill City Elementary has been certified as a wildlife habitat. This area has a pond with fish and other wildlife living there. Frogs can be heard croaking in the water and squirrels rustling the trees. A flower garden and a sitting area overlooks the pond. Feeders and nesting houses have been added to support the local wildlife. “We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity for our students here at Hill City Elementary,” said Mrs. Chapman.
NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provide food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries.
For more information on gardening for wildlife and details on how an entire community can become certified, visit www.nwf.org/habitat or call 1-800-822-9919.
For more National Wildlife Federation news, visit: www.nwf.org/news.
National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.