When I first started homeschooling almost 20 years ago, I knew in my heart that conservation and climate change activism would be a major component.
I sought out every opportunity for outdoor experiences for my kids to learn about conservation practices and science first hand.
Our desire to make a difference for the environment resulted in many amazing experiences.
Keep reading to find out how we integrated conservation into our lives.
Conservation and Climate Change Projects
We have taken part in invasive weed pulls in the high desert region of central Oregon.
In the rainforest of Hawai’i, we helped catalog the diversity of salt marsh plants.
We collaborated with research students to trap invasive green crabs in the estuary along the Oregon coast.
In northern California, we collected data on ants, water quality, and nesting birds.
Our favorite projects are those that conserve our natural areas and help reduce our carbon impact.
Most recently we collaborated with a National Estuarine Research Reserve to remove plastic tree guards and rebar on a restoration site.
This was a very meaningful project for me. For years, I brought my fourth-grade students to this area for an annual field trip/outdoor experience.
I was able to see first hand how dramatically the area has changed due to the restoration and conservation efforts of the staff and greater community.
The goal of conservation includes protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services, and protecting biological diversity.
Conservation Project Ideas
There are many projects that fall under the topic of conservation.
Here are a few conservation ideas:
- Look at the role of disturbance benefiting both native and exotic species. Learn about the ecological function of forest gaps or clearings and monitor for invasive plants and plant native shrubs.
- Learn to identify invasive insects and their impacts. Assist to monitor a site infested with an invasive pest in your local area.
- Learn to identify several invasive plants, the environmental and economic impacts, and assist to remove them.
- Learn about restoration efforts along streams and wetlands and help monitor and maintain these systems.
- Assist in mapping and removing invasive plants from wetlands.
- Learn about the establishment and potential impacts of invasive invertebrates in waterways and assist in monitoring populations.
- Plant native shrubs along stream banks to restore eroding riparian zones.
Global Youth Service Day
Global Youth Service Day is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world. Each year youth around the world help their communities by working together for the common good.
Global Youth Service Day is April 17-19 this year. Many youth organizations hold events in conjunction with this annual day of service.
Choose a cause and an idea from the list of ideas I shared in a previous post or come up with your own.
I encourage you to reach out to your local natural resource specialists. The Forest Service, Soil and Water Conservation District, and Watershed Associations to name a few.
These environmental advocates are on the ground and have working knowledge of conservation projects and opportunities where you can get involved locally.
Conservation and Climate Change Activism
The climate movement is a collective of individuals and non-government organizations engaged in activism related to the issues of climate change.
While it is a part of the broader environmental movement, many now consider it a new social movement due to its scope, strength, and activities.
Individual action on climate change can include personal choices in regards to diet, means of travel, household energy use, consumption of goods and services, and family size.
Individuals can also engage in local advocacy around issues of climate change like these amazing young climate activists:
Today’s youth are clearly not shy about collaborating with one another and using social media to elevate their voices.
Furthermore, I am reminded daily of their strength and like Jane Goodall, I am filled with hope for the future. You can learn about many of them in my post, Youth Activism: Don’t Silence Their Voices.