Biodiversity–-biological diversity—is very important. It encompasses all the life on Earth, on the land, the sea and the air. It exists on our farms, in our cities, and in our own backyards.
Agricultural biodiversity is also important because it affects crop yields, water conservation and soil health. When grain farmers act as stewards of the land, they support biodiversity. For example, when a grain farmer leaves natural borders on their fields, it supports wildlife; protects crops from such pests as insects, weeds and diseases; and protects the soil from erosion.
Another way grain farmers support biodiversity is by retaining or creating wetlands, which are important to maintaining natural habitats and sensitive ecosystems. Wetlands provide a natural place for excess water to drain, keeping grain fields dry. They also recharge groundwater, support the quality of surface water and mitigate the impact of flooding.
Each of us is part of Earth’s biodiversity; our activities affect the world’s biodiversity just as all species of plant and animal, the soil, the air and the water affect each other. What we do in our parks and backyards—the plants we grow or the insects we discourage—are part of how we impact biodiversity.
We offer a fun journaling activity for your students to explore biodiversity that they can begin now and continue through the summer. To give it a go yourself, we offer tips for increasing biodiversity in your yard!Download Journal Activity here