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ITHACA, NY – Caroline Elementary School is recognized for its wilderness trail by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) as a Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

The NWF celebrates the efforts of the students, staff members, parents, and community members at Caroline Elementary for creating a space that improves habitats for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife. The trail improves habitats by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, as well as cover and places to raise young.

This certification also makes Caroline’s certified wildlife habitat part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.

The application and certification process was completed as a result of the collaborative efforts between Peggy Weber’s kindergarten students and Danielle Rottenstein’s 5th graders.

“We give credit to the entire Caroline Community for coming together to create our Wilderness Campus and outside learning environments,” Weber said.

Rottenstein said, “This was a great opportunity for 5th graders to share their understanding and knowledge of ecosystems and transfer their learning into real world experience.”

The NWF is America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization. The organization’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed, and discourages 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.

(Image courtesy ICSD homepage)

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.