National Wildlife Week may sound new, but this celebration of fish conservation, stream restoration, and water pollution prevention is 85 years old this year! That's right, a whole week of each year has been focused on wildlife education, aquatic biodiversity, and sustainable fishing since 1938.
In fact, National Wildlife Week is the National Wildlife Federation's longest-running education program! Its goal is to not only engage all Americans, young and old alike, in nature conservation and environmental protection but also to simply promote the wonders of the great outdoors through wildlife tourism, catch and release fishing, and other fun activities that anyone and everyone can enjoy.
In 2023, National Wildlife Week is scheduled for April 3-9. It is the perfect opportunity to learn about the incredible animals native to North America, the importance of habitat restoration, and how we can help animals on land and in water continue to thrive for many years to come. Here are 7 great outdoor conservation activities that celebrate wildlife!
1. Sustainable Fishing
Catch and release is the most sustainable kind of fishing. By spending quality time outdoors and on the water during National Wildlife Week, you can have fun while helping with fish conservation. Fishing, whether on a boat or by the water’s edge, is also one of the best cheap outdoor activities for spring and summer.
2. Visit Wildlife Sanctuaries
Zoos are a superb way to get up close to animals and learn about wildlife habitats, but to truly dive deep into wildlife preservation, seek out a nearby wildlife sanctuary. When it comes to wildlife tourism that can help instill the importance of nature conservation while also giving you and your kids a look at how animals really live in the wild, there’s no better place to spend a day during National Wildlife Week.
3. Habitat Restoration
When you visit your local land conservancy or trust, or nature preserve and ask about volunteer opportunities to help with habitat restoration projects, you and your family may be able to assist with crucial wetland conservation and work on protecting wildlife in your community.
4. Spend a Day at an Aquarium
From the many great aquariums in North America to fascinating sites like the Ballad Locks and Fish Ladder in Seattle, there are many opportunities to learn about water conversation, aquatic biodiversity, and fish habitats together alongside your kids during National Wildlife Week.
5. Buy Native Plants
Not only will your patio and yard benefit from the pop of color and the increase in traffic among pollinators, birds, and butterflies, but planting native plants also helps with habitat restoration and nature conservation.
6. Play Outside
It may seem simple, but the act of playing outside, in the fresh air, on the grass, among the squirrels, birds, and dragonflies will go a long way to helping to usher in the next generation of Americans who will focus on protecting wildlife. So kick a soccer ball, fly a kite, throw a Frisbee, create an obstacle course, and revel in the outside world as a family with these 6 outdoor spring activities.
7. Learn About Wildlife Migration
Maybe one of your wildlife conservation resolutions this year was to learn more about the many animals who live in and visit our country en route to their homes! There’s so much to discover because North America is home to some spectacular and fascinating wildlife migrations. From the Monarch butterflies in California to the one million Sandhill Cranes that migrate on the Platte River Valley in Nebraska (in late March and early April), hitting the library with your kids or asking Alexa to teach you about wildlife migration is a great way to celebrate National Wildlife Week.
Discover more ways you can participate in National Wildlife Week and World Wildlife Day this year!