HOLMDEL – The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has recognized that St. Benedict School in Holmdel has successfully created a certified schoolyard habitat through its Garden for Wildlife program.
St. Benedict School has joined with more than 5,000 schools nationwide that have transformed their schoolyards into wildlife habitats that provide essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young, according to a press release.
The habitat also serves as an outdoor education site where students can engage in cross-curricular learning in a hands-on way.
Certification also makes a school’s certified wildlife habitat part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators, according to the press release.
“We are excited to have another school join our growing list of more than 5,000 certified schoolyard habitats. Kids can now personally experience nature through hands-on learning in an outdoor environment,” said Liz Soper, director of K-12 programs for the NWF.
“As teachers, we are excited to be able to provide hands-on learning opportunities for our students in an outdoor setting,” said Tara Guido, a kindergarten teacher at St. Benedict School.
The habitat is open for all students in pre-kindergarten 3 through fifth grade at St. Benedict School. The students are enjoying lessons outside, planting seeds, counting the pond fish and smelling the roses, according to the press release.
Students have dedicated garden space for planting and harvesting. The youngest learners spend their playtime climbing and sliding on the mini-hill, walking on the balance beam, climbing the geo-dome and using their imaginations in the playhouse, according to the press release.
NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use, according to the press release.