Each living thing has a habitat–a place to live that suits its needs. For human beings, the community they live in is their habitat. In this activity, students are encouraged to plan and carry out a service-learning project that focuses on making positive environmental changes in their community.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
Detroit Parks Coloring Pages
Learn what makes a city park great, such as local wildlife, spaces for public enjoyment and community activities, with this Detroit Parks Coloring Book. Use these coloring pages (available for download, print, and color) for students to explore the parks around the city of Detroit, Michigan. Then, discuss with students ways your community might conserve and enhance its public spaces with the help of PLT activities and have them investigate organizations, like the non-profit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, that work to support community public spaces.
EPA’s EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice and Mapping Tool is an interactive tool that combines data about environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports. Use this mapping tool to display information about geography, air and water quality, education, and 11 environmental justice (EJ) indexes and make comparisons between state data vs. regions or the nation.
Outdoor Classroom Resources
Are you interested in developing an outdoor classroom with your school or community? The Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry has put together a great resource on developing outdoor education areas. Recently updated by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), Guidelines and Features for Outdoor Classrooms shares factors and suggestions for planning and building an educational outdoor space for schools and communities.
Environmental Justice Video: Reducing Pollution through Organizing
Be inspired by the latest video in EPA’s 20th Anniversary Environmental Justice Video Series that features Penny Newman of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. Penny’s 5-minute video describes the environmental justice concerns of the Inland Valley communities in Southern California, and the ways local residents are making positive changes to protect the health of their families and neighbors.
The Sentinel Plant Network helps protect plants by preventing the spread of bad bugs and fungi. To help their mission, they assembled a team of “Plant Heroes” to detect and combat bugs and diseases that harm plants and ecosystem health, paying special attention to the Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Redbay Ambrosia Beetle, and Ramorum Blight. Using games, comics, printables, and field guides, the Plant Heroes website allows students to learn more about pest and disease identification and how to report evidence of them.
Why Trees? Video
As we know, trees represent more than just beautiful natural elements of our land, they also provide shade, manage water, stop erosion, protect streams, soothe the soul, clean the air, protect the quality and health of water, and attract homeowners, renters, and shoppers. Check out this Doodle Lecture created by Alabama Cooperative Extension that unveils the many benefits of having trees in our communities.