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Three simple steps to make a difference for wildlife on Earth Day

Volunteer at a national wildlife refuge this spring and help inspire the next generation of conservationists. | Robert G. Allen

Every year, Earth Day inspires people around the world to step back and consider the environment on a planetary scale, while also finding ways to make a difference on a local scale. Here are three steps that you can take to make a difference for wildlife this earth day.

1) Volunteer on a national wildlife refuge.
You can join the ranks of the 42,000 people who volunteer on our national wildlife refuges each year! Volunteers and refuge “Friends” groups contribute more than 1.5 million hours of their personal time each year to assist the U.S. Fish and Wildlife System in the stewardship of the National Wildlife Refuge System. From removing invasive species, to cleaning up trash, conducting wildlife surveys, and banding birds, there are many ways to become involved with you local wildlife refuge.

Visit our website for opportunities and to learn more about volunteering on national wildlife refuges: http://refugeassociation.org/people/volunteer/

2) Create wildlife habitat at home.
Don’t overlook the impact you have on native wildlife and habitat through the choices you make in your own backyard. For example, you can help prevent the spread of invasive plants by picking native species from your local nursery and by not stocking your birdfeeder with invasive plant seeds that can be easily spread by birds (and squirrels). Planting native flowers and other plants is a great way to showcase the natural heritage of where you live, while attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and other “watchable wildlife” to your yard.

For more information on native plants in your region, resources are available online at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. There are also great resources to find out about native plants that will attract birds for selecting environmentally friendly birdseed on Audubon’s website.

3) Become an advocate for wildlife and the Refuge System.
Learn about the important issues having an effect on wildlife in your area, and contact your Members of Congress to explain to them why funding wildlife conservation is important to you and your community. The easiest way to take action is to sign up for NWRA’s Refuge Action Network which will keep you informed about important issues on Capitol Hill that have an impact on wildlife refuges, and let you know how you can take action! To learn more visit: http://refugeassociation.org/action/

 

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