How To: Plan a Pollinator Garden
(Appropriate for All Ages) Restoring wildlife habitat is a priority for many League chapters. From planting cover and food plots to cleaning up water resources, Ikes are working to restore native habitat for game and non-game species alike. One important group that may not be on your list: Pollinators.
How To: Build a Bee House
(Appropriate for All Ages w/ Supervision) Honey bees may be getting all the press, but they’re not the only pollinators in town. The United States is home to almost 4,000 native bee species (honey bees are non-natives brought here from Europe). One way you can help protect pollinators is to build a home for them.
How To: Build a Model Watershed
(Appropriate for All Ages) It's a simple matter of gravity: Water runs downhill. This model watershed demonstrates how water picks up sediment and pollutants as it flows—and that simple measures can reduce the amount of polluted runoff that ends up in your watershed. This is a good project for talking with school children about water pollution and what they can do to prevent it.
How To: Build a Wood Duck Box
(Appropriate for Teens/Adults) Most waterfowl nest on the ground, but wood ducks prefer depositing their eggs in the holes of mature trees -- which means the ducks lose their nesting sites whenever forests are cleared. America’s wood duck population has dropped significantly over the last century. Fortunately, wood ducks readily adapt to nest boxes.
How To: Build a 3-Bin Composter
(Appropriate for Teens/Adults) Whether you have an abundance of leaves and lawn clippings or want to keep table scraps out of the landfill, you can easily turn waste into useful compost—and help the environment in the process.
How To: Build a Bug Aquarium
(Appropriate for All Ages w/ Supervision) Bugs are a key indicator of a stream’s water quality. Teaching people about stream health means showing them how to identify macroinvertebrates. So whether you’re setting up an educational booth or talking to a group of first-time stream monitors, it helps to have a working aquarium that can showcase living
critters such as mayfly and caddisfly nymphs.
How To: Build a Fish Crib
(Appropriate for All Ages) Discarded PVC pipes can be used to build “fish cribs”—places where bass, bluegills, and other lake species can hide, feed, and reproduce, making for better fishing and aquatic health. Any discarded plastic materials that can create a solid structure could be used, so be creative.
How To: Build a Rain Barrel
(Appropriate for Adults) The average American family uses 120 gallons of water each day for outdoor use, much of it for watering lawns and gardens. One way you can help ease the strain on reservoirs and wells is to build a rain barrel—a container that’s hooked up to a downspout to collect and recycle rainwater. You’ll even reduce your water bill and the
runoff entering local storm drains.
How To: Build a Rain Garden
(Appropriate for All Ages) Stormwater runoff is a leading cause of pollution in our streams and lakes. Driveways, roads, and parking lots block water from draining into the ground. Lawns are not much better, unless they have a place where the water can go. Enter the rain garden. It can fill your backyard or be as small as a baby pool. It can beautify your home and invite birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects, including those that eat mosquitoes.
How To: Build a Vernal Pond
(Appropriate for Adults) A vernal pond is a pretty sight, but it's even more delightful to hear: A chorus of song emerges from this type of wetland, thanks to the frogs and other creatures it attracts. These ponds provide wildlife habitat, attract mosquito-eating critters, reduce runoff, and serve as teaching tools.
How To: Collect and Plant Nuts
(Appropriate for All Ages) With autumn comes an abundance of acorns, walnuts, and other nuts strewn across the ground. These native seeds can be collected and put to good use. They can be planted in areas where more trees are needed or be raised as seedlings for local conservation projects.
How To: Vermicompost (Worm Compost)
(Appropriate for All Ages) Vermicomposting is the process of recycling food waste by feeding it to worms. Because a worm will eat its weight in table scraps, vermicomposting is a triple win: You recycle waste, produce organic fertilizer for house and garden plants, and raise worms you can use for fishing.
Izaak Walton League of America
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