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.
- Delgado Community College case study on environmental education campaign “Save Our Pond”
- University of North Florida case study on campus natural asset inventory
- University of South Florida case study on wetland preservation
- Whittier College case study on native habitat restoration
- Higher Education in a Warming World: Business Case for Climate Leadership on Campus – Implementing Climate Action Solutions, Campus Habitat page 41
- Generation E: Students Leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future – Habitat Management and Restoration, page 33
- NWF's Campus Sustainability Case Study Database, Search "Habitat"
- Learn about the Endangered Species Act
Take action on campus for Endangered Species Day, May 19, 2017. Learn more.
By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young, you not only help wildlife, but you also qualify to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat® and join more than 150,000 sites across the country.