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Action Ideas for Youth

 Tree PlantingHere are some ideas for Action Ideas around home, at school, or in your neighborhood- by yourself or with a group of friends!

Plant a Butterfly and Bird Prairie Garden - Find a sunny spot to plant native prairie flowers for butterflies. Research types of butterflies in your area and native plants they use in both their larval (caterpillar) and adult (butterfly) stages. Label plants and make a handout to inspire others to plant a similar garden at their home. Add a birdbath for water. Some flowers, such as purple coneflower or sunflowers will also attract birds when the seeds are ripe.

Don't have a yard or can't plant there? Try planting some flowers in a pot or two on a patio, porch or balcony!

Build a Nest Box - Research which birds and other animals would use a nest box in a chosen habitat. Chickadees, woodpeckers, owls, wrens, and wood ducks use nest boxes near or in trees. Bluebirds, tree swallows, purple martins and kestrels use boxes that are in open areas or in the middle of fields. Depending on the species, bats use boxes next to a house or in a tree.

Check the library, county extension office, county conservation naturalist, or Audubon chapter for box plans. Build the boxes by yourself, or as a class or group project. Periodically check and clean boxes!

Build a birdhouse - Birdhouses are needed because people keep cutting down old and hollow trees. Click for plans to build a birdhouse.

Plant a Tree - find a spot that could use a tree. Choose a type of tree that will be the right size for your spot 20 years from now. (Ask how tall and how wide it will get.) Maybe a shrub or bush would be better - many birds depend on berry bushes for the winter and use shrubs for their nest.

Control an Invasive Plant - Check with a local naturalist to find out what non-native plant species are causing problems in your area. Organize a campaign to help solve the problem and prevent future problems with the plant. Include schools, conservation groups, homeowners, and local garden centers in your campaign.

Help an Aquatic Habitat - Identify a stream or pond that is being polluted by runoff from silt, livestock waste or suburban pet droppings, farm or suburban fertilizers, or industrial operations. Meet with county or conservation district or NRCS staff, county extension office, or other experts and explore ways to reduce runoff. Develop a campaign to educate others and reduce the runoff problem.

Research native plantings - Investigate which types of plant communities are native to your area. Find experts in restoring prairie, savanna, wetlands or woodlands. Research how to grow, replant, and protect the habitat. Develop a plan with school maintenance staff, park manager, local groups, city officials and other students to ensure future protection of the planted habitat.

Educate/provide access - People are more likely to support the protection of special habitat areas if they have positive experiences in those areas. Is there a woodland or other natural area on the school grounds or nearby park that needs a trail wood chipped or pruned to make it more accessible and enjoyable to use? Would a trail sign be useful? Organize a nature walk to look at wildflowers, birds, or general beauty of the area. Organize a wildlife festival that corresponds to a migratory event or plants in bloom.

Links to other project ideas.