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National Wildlife Federation Certifies New Schoolyard Habitat in Littleton, CO

Local schools making a difference to protect wildlife

LITTLETON, CO– (JANUARY 20, 2020) – National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that Mackintosh Academy in Littleton, Colorado has successfully created a Certified Schoolyard Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. Mackintosh Academy has joined with over 5,000 schools nationwide that have transformed their schoolyards into thriving wildlife habitats that provides essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. The habitat also serves as an outdoor education site where students can engage in cross-curricular learning in a hands-on way.

children exploring schoolyard habitatCertification also makes Mackintosh Academy’s Certified Wildlife Habitat® part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.

“We are excited to have another school join our growing list of more than 5,000 certified Schoolyard Habitats. Kids can now personally experience nature through hands-on learning in an outdoor environment,” said Liz Soper, Director of K-12 Programs for National Wildlife Federation.

“At Mackintosh, our entire community – students, staff, and families – work together to minimize our impact on the environment,” said Diane M. Dunne, Head of School. “Creating and certifying this habitat allows us to go beyond simply lessening our impact, to proactively helping to make our local ecosystem better. We’re committed to nurturing the many kinds of wildlife, from animal visitors to native plants, with whom we share our campus.”

students working in schoolyard habitat garden“Mackintosh Academy’s habitat is campus wide,” explained Alison Weems, Sustainability Coordinator. “On our 4 acres, we have a pine tree forest as well as crabapple trees that shelter birds and small mammals. We regularly see squirrels, rabbits, magpies, crows, Canada geese, bluejays, and woodpeckers. Occasionally, we have seen deer, hawks, and even a bear on campus! Our outdoor gardens contain native perennials that attract pollinators. We also have several gardens in which we grow vegetables and herbs during the spring, summer, and fall. Mackintosh students spend quite a bit of time enjoying the outdoors during lunchtime, recesses, and physical education classes.   We incorporated a meditation path through one of the forested areas which provide students and staff a quiet place for contemplation. Overall, our campus is a well-loved habitat for all living things!”

students having class in schoolyard habitatThis recognition joins Mackintosh Academy’s growing list of environmental awards, including the President’s Environmental Youth Award (2016), U. S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award (2018) and Colorado Environmental Leadership Program Gold Leader (2018).

An overview of the school’s sustainability programs is here.