By David Robinson
The fifteenth annual Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2020 provides children’s museums with an opportunity to highlight their educational/other programs while also recognizing this nationwide celebration.
First approved by the U.S. Senate in 2006, the purpose of Endangered Species Day is to expand awareness of the importance of endangered species/habitat conservation and to share success stories of species recovery. Every year, Endangered Species Day events are held at museums, schools, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, conservation groups, parks, wildlife refuges and other locations throughout the country.
Here are a few ideas for Endangered Species Day activities:
- Create an endangered plant/animal species display, with a series of Endangered Species Infographics (see Resources below), books, photos and a map that identifies local/state species.
- Develop a self-guided tour (with basic map/flier) of all museum exhibits relating to threatened/endangered species and local habitats.
- Invite a biologist, Audubon Society or Sierra Club chapter representative, or other expert to make a presentation on the importance of endangered species/habitat protection, success stories of species recovery and actions young people can take.
- Organize activities such as a coloring table, and a scavenger hunt with participants visiting several stations to collect an item (bookmark, sticker) and learn more about a specific plant or animal species.
- Hold a story hour, reading excerpts from one of the Endangered Species Reading List/other books.
Activities can be held on May 15, that weekend, or earlier in the month.
To help you plan for an event, the Endangered Species Day website features a variety of resources, including:
- Information for planning your event.
- A series of three infographics, outlining endangered species definitions, causes, the Endangered Species Act, success stories of species recovery, and things young people and adults can do to help protect endangered species. These can be downloaded and printed to create an Endangered Species Day display.
- An Endangered Species Reading List that can be distributed to your visitors.
- Color/activity sheets, masks, bookmarks, a passport (ideal for use in scavenger hunt), stickers, and other material that can be downloaded and printed.
In addition to your own promotion in local media outlets, we can help promote your activity on the Endangered Species Day Event Directory. People in your community will visit the website directory to find a nearby event. Register it yourself or send the information to David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A project of the Endangered Species Coalition, Endangered Species Day is also supported by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with numerous education and conservation organizations, including the American Library Association, North American Association for Environmental Education, National Association of Biology Teachers, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Audubon Society, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Jane Goodall Institute, National Garden Clubs, Sierra Club, the National Science Teachers Association, San Diego Zoo, Earth Day Network, National Wildlife Federation, and Defenders of Wildlife.
David Robinson is Endangered Species Day Director at Endangered Species Coalition. Learn more at www.endangeredspeciesday.org.