School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Helping Your Community

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  • Conservation: preventing unnecessary loss, waste, or decay of living and non living things.
  • Ecosystem: a group of different plants and animals that live together and are dependent on the area in which they live.
  • Endangered: threatened with extinction. The American Bald Eagle was once threatened with extinction, but has officially recovered.
  • Native: something that naturally occurs, grows, or lives in a specific location... more

Helping Your Community

Trash pick up

You probably like playing outside, going to the beach, or hiking in the mountains, but you might think you can't do a lot to help protect these environments. Well, it turns out that you can help. Each person can take actions, whether big or small, to help protect nature. When members of a community come together to work for a cause, they can be very successful.

So, how can people work together in their communities? One example is community members in Michigan who volunteer their time to clean up trash and debris from local rivers, streams, and creeks. Many use a program called the “Michigan Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program.” Cleaning up trash is important because litter can hurt animals and ecosystems.

For example, sea turtles and birds can easily choke on plastic bottle caps or balloons, and they can get stuck on the plastic wrapping that holds packs of soda cans together. Other pieces of trash that can pollute water, such as old bottles of shampoo and bug spray, are also cleaned up. This helps to stop the chemical balance of the marine ecosystem from being disturbed.

trail maintenanceMany states or communities have similar groups. In Arizona, the Arizona Wilderness Coalition is involved in trash clean ups, trail maintenance, and data collection in natural areas. 

Community involvement can also happen right in your neighborhood. Members of a community could create a rain garden with native plants or might work together to help pass or defend laws that protect local endangered animals. 


Additional images via Wikimedia Commons. Image of Arches National Park by Sanjay Archarya.

Arches national park

If you like visiting natural areas, you should volunteer to help preserve parks and other habitats.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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Arches national park

If you like visiting natural areas, you should volunteer to help preserve parks and other habitats.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.