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Column

Community Pulse: Thanks for being Earth-friendly

Heidi Miller
Heidi Miller

May is the month when planning for gardens and family plans are being considered. The Grundy County Land Use Department has ideas that may help in your design of sustainable/environmentally friendly gardens and fun family activities.

Creating garden spaces that are not only beautiful but are beneficial to the ecosystem in which we live is important. The National Wildlife Federation provides a certification process in which gardens that comply with their criteria receive certification. The certification process highlighted on their website (www.nwf.org) asks that five main categories to be complied with.

Food – Seeds, berries, nectar, pollen; water – birdbath, lake/stream, pond, or rain garden; cover – roosting box, brush, meadow, wooded area; places to raise young – meadow/prairie, nesting box, wetland; sustainability – soil/water conservation, control of exotic species, eliminate chemical herbicides and pesticides.

The National Wildlife Federation will provide a certification and also has signs for purchase for your gardens. It is a great way to show off your gardens and also have family interaction with the planning and project construction. 

Children thrive when they are outside during the summer. Linking children to the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting our planet is inherit to growing generations of scientists who appreciate and care for our planet.

Fun ways of achieving this is to pretend that your child is an environmental scientist going on an adventure to check and learn about the great outdoors. Even if the great outdoors is your backyard, there is a lot that they can learn. Every scientist should start with a simple journal that will help them to take notes on what they find interesting.

Drawing pictures or taking photos for further discovery completes the research cycle. They can expand their investigation by researching through a local library or online what they saw and write that into their reports. Giving a report to the family on their great field experiences at the dinner table will help them build confidence.  

Older children and group organizations may consider a cleanup project at a local park. By cleaning their community, they show the spirit of respecting our environment and also recycle any recyclable items. All cleanup efforts should be organized and approved by the local community. Our department is also happy to provide events this summer that will help in education and also to the recycling and re-use objectives that we stride for: 

Post-taxes shredding event: From 10 a.m. to noon May 19 at the Grundy County Administration Building located at 1320 Union St., Morris. Limited to two paper ream boxes. All paper brought will be shredded on site and all shredded paper will be recycled. 

June 1 – 2017 Green Guide will be available online and includes many hyperlinks for education and family fun. 

June 1 to July 5 – Children’s Gently Used Book Drive with Bernie’s Books at the Administration Building at 1320 Union St., Morris. All books should be in good condition, no reference books, textbooks or reference books, please. Goal for the County is 1500 books to Bernie’s Books Bank organization, whom will donate 12 books a child. Other events that are planned for the 2017 summer season include a tire event for July and also a paint recycling event with Epaint Recycling Solutions. 

We thank you, Grundy County, for continuing your good works as stewards of our planet and for teaching your children the same. For information or questions, contact me at hmiller@grundyco.org or 815-941-3229.

• Heidi H. Miller is the land use director for Grundy County. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools, organizations and sometimes Morris Herald-News staff to share news and information about their organization. 

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