What is biodiversity and sustainability, and why are they important? “Bio” refers to living things, and living things do not survive independently of each other. Each organism depends on other organisms for their food, water and shelter in some way. The more types of living things in a community, the healthier the community is for each individual life form. Diversity describes the situation when many different kinds live together. Their relationship is symbiotic, because they all depend on each other. For diversity to thrive, the community must have what it needs to continue, which is the same as being sustainable. Something that is sustainable is meant to go on forever.
Farm fields are an example of a monoculture, which is the direct opposite of a diverse community. Monocultures have only one plant in it, and no other plant, bird, insect or animal life. In a place where agriculture or towns take up most of the land, that can leave little habitat left for animal or insect life. The Green Bay Botanical Gardens demonstrates how people can make diverse, sustainable landscapes at homes, schools and businesses to provide much needed habitat for native creatures.
Because the plants highlighted are native to Wisconsin, they not only attract butterflies and birds to your yard, but they also are easy to care for. You will also learn how plants use abiotic resources such as carbon dioxide and water through photosynthesis to create everything that we need to eat, use and breathe!
The discussion guide link has been provided to help focus students on key points before and after viewing the video. Because the Green Bay Botanical Garden’s mission is to demonstrate what people can do to transform their own spaces into diverse and sustainable natural environments, the most important question is, “What are you going to do, now that you know?”
Downloadable content with ideas and resources from Green Bay Botanical Gardens that will help you plan your own garden are included in the video and links.