Restoring Prairie, Woods, and Pond: How a Small Trail Can Make a Big Difference

Holiday House. (Books for a Better Earth). Apr. 2023. 96p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780823451654.
Gr 4 Up–A delightful work that reads like a love letter to the Eagle Nature Trail in Wisconsin. Readers learn about the past struggles and former glory of this special field and forest that has a seasonal pond. They are invited to follow along the journey of the small community’s efforts to create a nature trail and restore the surrounding prairie. Detailed descriptions of flora and fauna will excite aspiring biologists. Also included is a complete history of this section of land—how it was abandoned and neglected as a dumping ground—then revived and restored to serve as an incredible living laboratory for students. Various story walk opportunities are possible throughout the year thanks to a vibrant partnership with the local library. Service-learning opportunities abound. Social studies and science teachers will be able to mine this book for a wealth of lessons, rich with photos and charts. Students with an interest in social studies will appreciate the author’s efforts to connect larger events in history with the story of the prairie. The book’s vocabulary can be challenging, but with guidance, or perhaps as a class read-aloud, this story could inspire similar projects at schools across the country.
VERDICT This thoroughly and painstakingly researched book could serve as a blueprint for others seeking to revitalize similar areas. Highly recommended for school library collections.

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