SHERP - Page 9

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SHERP

School-ground Habitat Enhancement

& Restoration Project

Woodland Habitat & Trail

The Woodland Habitat and Trail is a mix of native and non-native plants and animals. In the primary grades, students spend time exploring via repeated walks and hikes which introduce them to species common to nature in urban spaces. Each visit and look under the same rock or stone naturally solidifies its existence as a microhabitat that is different from the microhabitat of a fallen log or a meadow.

In Intermediate grades, students begin to learn about specific plant/animal relationships by looking for evidence of animals on and around plants. Students also begin to learn about how some of these plants and animals are considered native, non-native and/or invasive and the impacts to local biodiversity.

During the 5th grade year, students focus their learning on a specific non-native invasive plant and begin to answer the questions: How and why does an invasive plant succeed? What impact does this have on an ecosystem? What are the methods for lessening this impact and which method best fits our site and values? They then apply this learning by planning for the identification, removal, and disposal of the non-native plants.

In middle school, small groups of 6th grade students adopt a plot of land to steward and transform from non-native status to native status throughout their middle school years.

Due to student efforts we have recently received a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat Certification for our SHERP Project. Students are already planning to meet requirements that will certify the Meadow as a Monarch Way Station.