Do you need some help coming up with a project to get your community involved in protecting local wetlands and waterways? Here are some ideas to get you started!
- Enlist the aid of your local League chapter or watershed association in planning a watershed education event at a nearby school or museum. In Minnesota, the Rochester IWLA chapter hosted a wetland exploration contest, which drew student teams from 15 nearby high schools.
- Organize a POW or SOS workshop in your area.
- Join a monitoring group – or organize one. Contact the Izaak Walton League at 1-800-BUG-IWLA for local contact information.
- Sponsor photo/art/poetry contests focused on streams and/or wetlands. Ask you Chamber of Commerce or local businesses to give prizes and display the entries.
- Offer Discover Wetlands guided tours: A Maryland group focuses first on birds, then beavers (“makers of the marsh”), wildflowers, and butterflies, concluding with a night hike.
- Throw a community picnic along your favorite waterway, complete with tours, storytelling and hands-on activities.
- Plant native saplings in a wetland or along a streambank - either as the first step in its restoration or as part of an overall plan.
- Organize a wetlands group: Bring together others in your community who are interested in conserving your local wetlands to strategize on building community awareness and connecting with appropriate government officials and programs.
- Run (or Walk) for wetlands: New Jersey fifth graders raised enough money to help Bridgewater’s Hillside School build a backyard wildlife habitat. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employees do it, too: their annual 5K run protects a beaver pond nestled between their building and I-66 (just outside the nation’s capital).
- Read about wetlands and waterways: Do this all by yourself, and then prepare a reading list for your school – or to post in the library. Begin with Henry David Thoreau’s Walden!
- Get involved- find out where wetlands and waterways exist near your home, try to learn more about them, and support educational efforts.