Our prairies need active protection.
And recently four high school students showed great interest in environmental work.
It was a perfect match—as far as the Madison Audubon Society was concerned. By working with the Madison Audubon Society, the students came to understand the importance of protecting our remaining prairies, since:
- 99% of our country’s native prairie is gone
- 20 common American bird species have seen their populations drop by at least half in the last 40 years
- 3 of those bird species once common to Wisconsin are dependent upon prairie habitat
To help preserve the prairies and prairie-dependent species we have remaining, the four Middleton High School students completed an independent studies program at Goose Pond Sanctuary in conjunction with the Madison Audubon Society.
For one day a week, during the entire summer, the students removed invasive species, surveyed prairie plants, searched for an endangered butterfly species, collected seeds, and planted wetland plants. And—as is usually the case with environmental projects-—they also reported having a lot of fun.
For the students, it was a great hands-on learning experience. For Madison Audubon Society, it was a way to help interested young people learn more about the vital importance of environmental protection.
To the benefit of us all, the experience helped create four new advocates who will continue speaking out and working on behalf of our environment.