Healthy Hydration & Water Conservation: 3 Activities
The promotion of drinking water through school and out-of-school time wellness policies is a wonderful opportunity to educate students on the importance of local watersheds, water conservation and environmental stewardship. An ecological twist might be just the thing that speaks to the passion of a new partner or stakeholder.
This month as America celebrates Wetlands Month, here are 3 ideas to advance healthy afterschool and make a difference in your community.
Go to the Source
If April showers are flowing into May, bring the outdoors in by creating a local waterway mural. Using masking tape, a roll of white butcher paper and markers, illustrate your favorite river, creek or lake. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory can help your students find wetlands in your community to learn about wildlife, birds and nature. Personal awareness is an important step in committing to health and conservation. Start by finding out where your drinking water comes from. Use your mural to map from the source to your tap! Promote physical activity by teaching about wetlands and schoolyard habitats.
Get Others Involved
Partner with your local library to host a Wetlands Month celebration. The Association of State Wetland Managers blog has simple event ideas. Even a small wetland book list and display is a fun way to inspire a love of outdoor activity and nature. If your local library is hosting summer meals, brainstorm together about how to promote summer hydration, water safety and community connectedness.
Looking for another reason to celebrate? As many as one-half of all North American birds nest or feed in wetlands! Organize your own Migratory Bird Day party with fun enrichment like “Animals in Water” and “When It Rains” from Wildlife Explorers (Chapter 5). Want more ideas? Check out Walking Clubs, Animal Migration and the Metric System. What?
Make it a Summer of Service
Hunger (and thirst) doesn’t take a vacation and we all play a role. A neighborhood clean-up weekend could be a great way to raise visibility of summer feeding and community services. Even if you’re not serving meals, think about how you can connect families with essential resources. Need funding? Apply for a Summer of Service grant (deadline June 4!). Go even further to prevent summer learning loss by creating opportunities for students to explore the financial benefits of wetlands and the benefits of green infrastructure.