Make your map come ALIVE!
- Plant a garden for pollinators and birds. Learn about permaculture.
- Begin a nature journal to record daily experiences and history of your neighborhood or subwatershed. Note the specific location, time of day, weather conditions, sounds, what the animal was doing or eating,…. Draw and color illustrations to bring the journal to life.
- Map your backyard. Map places that feel special to you, and write why the place feels special. Map places that you have seen animals, their burrows and habits, native plants, geologic formations, and historic information about your house or neighborhood.
- Leave a copy of the journal and map for the next owner.
- Make a seasonal wheel, a circle bisected by twelve angles (one for each month of the year). Record the cycles of plants, animals, weather, and cultural events within and around the circle. Note the date or week when a bird began building a nest near your house, when the babies hatched, and when they fledged. Note the date that your favorite flowers emerged, blossomed, and went to seed. The wheel enables us to monitor trends over time.
- Make a neighborhood nature nook for your neighborhood to see and contribute to. Post pictures of the animals that match up with the nutshells or nests they leave behind and note where it was found.
- Put your bioregion name on your address labels. For example:
Jane Doe, 123 Shagbark Hickory Lane, Ithaca, NY 14850
Coy Glen, Cayuga Basin Bioregion, Owasco Watershed
- Attend free local field trips with the Finger Lakes Land Trust, Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, Cayuga Bird Club, Cornell Herpetology Club, and others to learn more.
- Join your subwatershed committee through the Cayuga Watershed Network and/or start a subwatershed email list to post natural history sightings. Compile this info for future mapping.
- Start a stewardship project: Adopt a creek to steward (stencil storm drains, build bat and bird boxes, weed out invasive species, protect snags, identify and adopt locally threatened species, make a bioregional map or mural of a tributary creek; educate the public how to care for threatened species, their unique habitat, and their food source; attend planning board meetings and educate officials, fundraise for local conservation organizations and incorporate supporting a local business at the same time, give stewardship certificates or patches, plan an event for Earth Day or Water Week).
All of us within the Cayuga Basin Bioregion are stewards of our basin.
Laboratory of Ornithology
--Project FeederWatch, citizen science, http://www.birds.cornell.edu/page.aspx?pid=1663
--Celebrate Urban Birds, http://celebrateurbanbirds.org/
--BirdSleuth, inquiry-based learning, http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/58403.htm
Map your yards and design bird-friendly habitat, http://content.yardmap.org/
--Political cartoons, http://www.dingdarling.org/261101%20Lesson%20PlanKIP.pdf
--History of environmental issues, http://www.environmentalhistory.org/