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Environmental Activities


Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary

Build a backyard miniature wildlife sanctuary by providing animals the basics: food, water, and shelter.

What You'll Need:

  • Gardening tools (rake, shovel, etc.)
  • Materials from the suggestions below

How to Create a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary:

Step 1: If you can, plant native plants that bear the fruit, nuts, seeds, nectar, and pollen that wild animals like to eat. Hazelnut trees, elderberries, service berries, huckleberries, and wildflowers are terrific.

Step 2: Try to buy or build bird feeders. Fill the feeders with seeds songbirds prefer, such as sunflower seeds, white millet, and thistle. In the summer, fill hummingbird feeders with nectar made from one cup sugar and four cups water. In the winter, hang suet feeders.

Step 3: Since water is often scarce, set out birdbaths and keep them clean. Put the bowl of a birdbath on the ground for small mammals and ground-feeding birds. Give butterflies a drink, too. Fill a basin with sand and keep it wet. Place the basin near flowers, where butterflies visit.

Step 4: Birds and small mammals need safe places to hide, build nests, and stay warm and dry in bad weather. If you can, plant a long hedgerow of native shrubs. Build piles of rocks, brush, or logs for small animals.

Step 5: For more information on backyard wildlife sanctuaries, call your local Fish and Wildlife Department. They will have brochures and printed material to help you plan a sanctuary for your area.

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From an outdoor sanctuary to your very own ecosystem indoors. Keep reading to learn how to build your own ecosystem.

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