The New Year has officially arrived, and with it, the time-honored tradition of bettering one’s self through New Year’s resolutions. Many of us include working toward better physical health and fitness as a part of our resolutions for the new year – during 2023, consider including the health of wildlife and the environment, too!
Litter is one of the biggest impacts that humans have on their environment, and is more than just an aesthetic problem; litter has serious impacts on habitats and wildlife health, as well as human health and safety. Reducing the consumption of single-use plastic items like pre-packaged water bottles, masks, and grocery bags is an easy way to keep wildlife habitats free of litter. Reusable (and fashionable) tote bags are currently available in the Center’s online shop!
Spending more time in the great outdoors and reconnecting with nature is another commonly made New Year’s resolution – and one that can potentially lead to unplanned interactions with wildlife. If you’re an avid hiker, you already know to check trail conditions and equip yourself with the proper gear before heading out. Why not learn about which species you may encounter before hitting the trail, so you can be mindful of their habitat and lifestyle, too? The Center’s Wildlife Help and Advice page contains useful information on commonly-encountered species, how to prevent wildlife conflicts, and more.
Thinking of warmer weather already? Plan to create a garden or backyard area that features plants found naturally in your community. As winter eventually gives way to spring, native pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds, and small mammals will be thankful! Keep wildlife in mind when choosing materials and equipment for landscaping, too – plastic landscape netting can be difficult for smaller animals, like this Northern Black Racer, to navigate without becoming entrapped. Thoughtful choices and decisions, no matter how small, do make a difference!
New Year’s is a wonderful time to reflect on how we can better ourselves and our communities – for us and for our wild neighbors! With the right mindset, caring about and caring for wildlife and the environment can be celebrated all year long. Have you made a wildlife resolution of your own? Let us know by sharing your ideas on social media using the #WildlifeResolutions hashtag.
Happy New Year!