Conservation Notes: Conservation Habits

02/16/2010 11:34

Conservation Habits = Healthy Habitats is the Soil and Water Stewardship theme for 2010. It is a thought provoking and profound theme. Take a few moments and give it some thought. We are resposible for our actions. Our actions result in either positive or negative consequences. For this reason, we need to be good stewards of the land and natural resources.

What is Conservation? Conservation is the careful management of the environment and naturla resources. In the words of Aldo Leopold, "Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land." It is important to properly care for the environment surrounding us. Conservation is vital to habitats. Without the use of conservation, plant and animal species may become endangered or extinct.

What is a habitat? A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular plant or animal species. Habitats are the natural environment in which an organism lives or the physical environment that surrounds a speices population.

What is a habit? A habit is an action or pattern of behavior repeated until it is almost automatic. So, conservation habits are consistent actions that protect and manage natural resources. Developing healthy habits will establish and sustain healthy habitats. Wee need to carry out healthy habits in our backyards, communities, schools, places of work, and farms.

A healthy habitat provides numerous resources and offers many benefits. Soil sustains life. Through soil, plants are supplied with minerals and nutrients essential for growth. Trees and plants release oxygen into the air, remove carbon dioxide from the air, and provide food and shelter to birds and mammals. Animals, birds and insects pollinate flowers. Over 80% of the world's flowering plants survive because of pollinators. We depend on flowering plants for production of fruits and vegetables. Pollinators are disappearing due to the lack or quality of habitat. Because of the declining habitat for pollinators, it is necessary that we develop and preserve their habitat.

Let's do our part in establishing healthy habits and building and protecting wildlife habitats. Each of us can make a difference starting in our own community. What can we do to provide or improve wildlife habitats? Adding a birdbath, planting native plants, planting trees and shrubs, installing a rain barrel to collect water, and recycling are just a few great ways to provide or protect habitats. In the words of Aldo Leopold, "A thing is right only when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the community; and the community includes the soil, water, fauna and flora, as well as the people."

- Monica Stevens, Resource Conservationist