Colleges and universities are more than collections of buildings and roads. Campuses also usually have gardens, landscaped areas, wetlands, woods and other green spaces. These green areas provide homes for wildlife and classrooms for students. They also act as carbon sinks and filter storm water runoff, among other important functions.
Student Actions- what can you do to improve habitats for wildlife?
Work with facilities to increase native plant species for wildlife-friendly habitats.
Start a nature-themed student organization on campus that identifies and documents wildlife on and around your campus.
Engage with faculty who are doing wildlife research.
As institutions of higher learning, colleges and universities often use their green spaces as outdoor learning laboratories. Students may get hands-on training in sustainable agriculture and gardening, for example, or learn how to identify species. Green spaces also help conserve energy and water, saving money for colleges and universities. Green roofs provide insulation for buildings and filter storm water. Strategically placed vegetation can help cool buildings and outdoor spaces in the summer, while allowing the sun to provide heat in the winter. Forests, grasslands and other habitats can act as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide in wood and soils and sequestering it from the atmosphere. And last, but certainly not least, campus green spaces can provide homes for wildlife. Many species are facing threats from urban sprawl and climate change, and need protected habitats to survive and thrive.