Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tips for Wildlife Gardening with Kids

When we moved to our home in northern Virginia, my husband and I got right to work creating our wildlife garden—replacing yards of turf with a native plant bed. We expected our then two-year-old daughter to play about us as we labored, but she dug right in—literally. For each mat of sod we pulled up, her little hands yanked a clump. For each shovelful of compost we emptied into our wheelbarrow, she added a scoop. All day long we marveled at her determination to keep pace.

Families Benefit from Gardening Together

“Children want to do what their parents and grandparents are doing,” says Claudia Neely, a gardening enthusiast whose three kids helped to create a wildlife habitat in the family’s Pittsburgh backyard. Being a good role model requires dedication on the part of green-thumbed adults, but there are inherent rewards in providing kids with positive outdoor experiences.

“More than just plants grow out of helping a child tend a garden,” says Judy Sedbrook, a Denver-based master gardener with the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. “Gardening gives children a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and it enables them to learn about the environment. Read the entire article.

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