Image description: Explore the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge without ever leaving your home on Wednesday, June 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.
Discovery Education is presenting a virtual field trip live from Sanibel Island, FL. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States, and is famous for its migratory bird populations.
Learn more about the event and sign up to reserve your spot on the “trip.”
Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
If your vacation or weekend plans include visits to national parks and recreation areas, consider getting a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
Benefits of the Pass
The pass provide entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the United States. Entrance covers:
- Pass owner and accompanying passengers in a single private vehicle where per-vehicle fees are charged.
- Pass owner and three accompanying individuals ages 16 and older where per-person entrance fees are charged (children under 16 are admitted for free).
Types of Passes
- Annual Pass - It’s $80 (ages 16 years and older) and valid for one year.
- Annual Pass for Military - Members of the U.S. military and their dependents are eligible for a free Annual Pass.
- Senior Pass - It’s $10 and valid for the lifetime of the pass owner. You must be 62 years or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Access Pass - It’s free for the lifetime of the pass holder with documentation of a permanent disability. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Volunteer Pass - You can earn this pass with 250 or more hours of volunteer service on public lands. The pass is valid for one year.
From the Bureau of Land Management:
“Snakes on a Plane” has nothing on Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area’s intrepid Laverne Dickey and Jim Cribbs. On May 1, they rescued a scared, little Northern Mojave Rattlesnake from near the visitor center and safely released him to less visited area nearby.
Full-grown, the Northern Mojave rattlesnake is about three to four feet long and is also known as Mojave green because of its green hue. It has a potent neurotoxic and hemotoxic venom. Its preferred habitat at Red Rock Canyon is scrub brush, low areas of sparse vegetation among the Joshua trees and open, arid areas. Mojave greens are most active from April to September.
There’s no better time to plant a garden than spring, when the weather is just right for plants and flowers. But you don’t have to do it alone. Planting a garden can be a great family activity that also promotes the environment.
There are several things you should consider before getting started.
Before Planting a Garden
Figure out how much space you have and what type of plants you’d like to have. There are different types of gardens for houses or apartments. Do some research and pick the one you like the most.
Once you are ready:
- Select the plants you want. If you’re not sure which ones to choose, go to a gardening store and take your family with you. Everybody can help pick the plants, flowers or fruit trees for your home.
- Make a budget for plants and materials to help you stay on track.
- Be careful with drainage holes as too little water or too much water can affect the growth of your plants.
- Make sure the soil has the right nutrients. Ask a specialist to recommend the right type of soil for your garden.
When Planting a Garden
Consider these tips as you begin:
- Separate your flowers and trees so they are not too close to each other.
- Figure out how much water and shade each plant will need.
- Make a layout of your garden so you know which plants need to go where.
Once you’re ready to start, get your family together and assign tasks such as spreading the soil and placing the seeds in the holes.
After Planting a Garden
Taking care of your garden regularly will help your plants grow healthy. Give family members weekly tasks to help maintain the garden. For a healthy garden, make sure to:
- Water your plants according to their needs. Some will need more water, some will need less.
- Add fertilizer to the soil to make sure your plants get the nutrients they need.
- Protect your garden from unwanted pests by using pesticides (check how to use pesticides safely.)
- Trim your plans and remove any dry leaves and fallen fruits. It will make your garden look clean and lush.