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Submitted By

April Durkin

Itasca, IL, United States


In an on-going effort to make our science curriculum more interactive with our students, we are creating areas on our property that engage students as they learn about the world around them.


Habitat Helpers

Award Winning Entry: Pennington Habitat Hero

Habitat Helpers

The Lutheran School of Saint Luke in Itasca is working on improving the grounds around the school to make them habitable for wildlife and to use them as a hands-on teaching tool for the students. The school is located on several acres with a naturally wooded area on the west of the property. There are several large trees at the back of the school that are already nesting spots for robins. The garden area below is an example of one of the areas we are focusing on around the school.

We are in the process of clearing out the weeds and creating a habitat that is more bird friendly to goldfinches, white-breasted nuthatches, black-capped chickadees, American robins and ruby throated hummingbirds. This area is located behind the 5th/6th classroom and is ideal for our focus on animal habitats in the fall. These improvements will draw birds into the area and allow students to study them in their natural environment and evaluate ways to improve their habitat as the school year progresses.

We would like to add a bird bath for our water source for all birds, nectar feeders and window box feeders for hummingbirds, thistle feeders for goldfinch, suet feeders for the fall/winter, and shepherd’s hooks to hang them. In addition, we would like to add plants that will attract some of the birds we are looking to attract. For example the ruby throated hummingbirds love the nectar from the Hosta flowers so we would like to add a few more Hostas to our garden.

We estimate that the cost to improve this area would cost approximately $235 including plantings. We would appreciate any support you could provide in improving our habitat for birds and enhancing our science curriculum.

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