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Faith In Action: Creating a Backyard Habitat

Faith In Action: Creating a Backyard Habitat
Faith In Action: Creating a Backyard Habitat

Activity time: 0 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Seedlings for local plants that provide food or shelter for animals (e.g., butterfly bush, milkweed, berry shrubs)
  • Items to hold water such as a bird bath or a fountain
  • Shovels, watering cans, and digging tools
  • Optional: Items to shelter animals, such as a bird house or a bat box

Preparation for Activity

  • With your minister, building and grounds committee, and religious educator, identify a habitat niche you can create in your locale and plan a backyard habitat for your grounds.
  • Investigate local wildlife needs by consulting government or conservation agencies, such as EPA or the Audubon Society. Determine beneficial plants and trees to support local wildlife. A good resource about backyard habitats on the National Wildlife Federation website, where you can also certify your habitat.
  • Plan a date for building the habitat. Publicize this event in your congregation and in the larger community.
  • Optional: Invite a wildlife expert to speak to your congregation about these needs.
  • Optional: Provide backyard habitat information to all members of your congregation. Invite them to join the group for this activity and/or create their own backyard habitats at their homes.

Description of Activity

Involve your entire congregation in activities related to creating your backyard habitat, such as installing a fountain or birdbath, making birdhouses, planting food plants or providing cover. Choose a day to construct a backyard habitat on your congregational grounds.

Process the experience with questions like:

  • How does creating a backyard habitat reflect our Unitarian Universalist beliefs?
  • What UU Sources point us to show love by creating a backyard habitat? (third Source, world religions, Hindu respect for animals and doing no harm (ahimsa); fifth Source, reason and science, understanding what animals need to survive and understanding that our environments needs the animals; sixth Source, earth-centered religions and harmony of nature)
  • What do we hope will happen in our backyard habitat?
  • What more could we do to support local wildlife?
  • How could we encourage others in our community to create their own backyard habitats?

Optional: celebrate your new backyard habitat by installing a certified wildlife habitat sign (available for a fee from the National Wildlife Federation).

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