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Submitted By

Wayne Mennecke

Islip, NY, United States


Many students at Islip High School are part of the Keep Islip Clean club (KIC club) which strives to beautify the school grounds and promote recycling and environmentally friendly solutions to how the school campus is used. I am the club advisor and science teacher at the high school. Students have created an outdoor classroom in the previously unused school courtyard, complete with a 4000 gallon pond (built by them) as well as convertible desks/benches/tables to use for outdoor studies. Flowering plants, trees and gardens have been planted around the pond and along the courtyard area. Many birds visit and nest in the courtyard such as mallards, sparrows, wrens and chickadees. We have hung some inexpensive bird feeders and bird houses but we would like to add more durable options that do not fall apart or rot after one summer of use. We would also like to add duck nesting boxes. Promoting birds to nest and feed in the courtyard will allow students in our biological sciences and research classes study animal behavior and development of ducklings. Our courtyard classroom project has been part of KIC club’s habitat restoration program since 2007. We are always looking to improve the area for more birds to visit, feed, mate and nest. Thank you.


Habitat Helpers

High School Classroom Courtyard Project

AWARD WINNER: Pennington Habitat Hero: KIC club students paint wooden bird houses and soda bottle feeders to add habitats to the courtyard classroom.

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