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National Wildlife Federation Certifies New Schoolyard Habitat in Spokane, WA


Local schools making a difference to protect wildlife

SPOKANE, WA– 1/22/2021 – National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that Excelsior Holistic School in Spokane has successfully created a Certified Schoolyard Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. Excelsior Holistic Schools 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.

“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.

The Arboretum at Excelsior Wellness Center and Holistic school is situated on 34 acres in the Lilac City –Spokane, WA. This collection, in a park like setting, features conifer, deciduous trees, woody shrubs and perennial beds with over 2000 daffodil bulbs. Over 100 trees and shrubs are identified and labeled including 16 different cultivars of lilac. Beech, birch, flowering cherries, crabapples, dogwoods, magnolias, maples, oaks and sycamores provide food and shelter for wildlife and year-round interest for all who visit.

“The environment students see every day not only influences their ability to engage in their academic studies, but also their study of the 8 dimensions of Wellness, which we know positively impacts our student’s mental health and wellness. We are excited to be able to provide hands-on learning opportunities for our students in an outdoor setting”, said Aaron Chavez, Excelsior Holistic School’s Principal.

Excelsior strives to honor this green space by preserving the mature planting and planning for replacement and additions in the future. The vision for the landscape and grounds of the Excelsior campus is to create an integrated environment where healing of the mind, body, and soul come together, for our clients, program participants, staff, and broader communities through our outdoor environment.

NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provide food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries. For more information on gardening for wildlife and details on how an entire community can become certified, visit www.nwf.org/habitat or call 1-800-822-9919. For more National Wildlife Federation news, visit: www.nwf.org/news.

About Excelsior Holistic Schools:

EHS offers individualized learning opportunities where students can work towards their high school diploma, study for the GED, acquire college and work readiness skills, and take part in vocational training. In comparison to other traditional education settings, students attending this program have significantly more supportive resources, including but not limited to, mental health counseling, immunizations, eye exams and primary care. Visit our website to learn more: ExcelsiorSchools.org

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