Living Wildlife Friendly With Lincoln Park Zoo

May 4, 2024

Now that you know all about how much work the Urban Wildlife Institute is doing to help make city dwellers’ experiences with wildlife more positive, maybe you’re wondering how you can help. Here are some tried-and-true tips for fostering positive wildlife experiences, from the experts at Lincoln Park Zoo.  

Remember, we live in a fascinating form of nature where animals are interacting with each other in dramatic ways. “They’re trying to find mates and they’re trying to survive—all of that is happening around you all the time,” UWI Senior Director Seth Magle, Ph.D., says. “The species are a little different, maybe, than what you see if you turn on Animal Planet. But that same exciting wonder of nature is always around you. And just by making people aware of it, you can make a difference in a much bigger way thank you think.” 

1. Observe, Don’t Disturb 

Whether you’re watching ducks at your favorite local pond or visiting Yellowstone National Park, it’s important to view wildlife without disturbing it. Don’t feed or touch animals you encounter in the wild. By keeping away, you’re keeping them safe. 

 2. Stash Your Trash 

Are you putting the lid down all the way on your trash can? Is your trash can free of holes? Take a little time to make sure your garbage is secure—and help your neighbors do the same, if you are so inclined.  

3. Reduce Food Waste

Find out what you can do to reduce the amount of food waste you generate. Freeze your leftovers. Make jams, jellies, or applesauce. Pickle your vegetables. Compost! For more tips, visit this blog post. 


 4. Volunteer With Your Local Park District 

Help tend a community garden, clear out invasive plants, or clean up parks! Your local nature preserve or park center is a great place to get resources or get involved. 

5. Build Wildlife Habitat 

There are seven bat species in the Chicago area, but some are in trouble—and you can help by building bat houses that give them a place to roost. If that isn’t your thing, you can always provide a house for birds to nest. Or plant native plants in your backyard, such as milkweed, to help pollinators thrive.  

6. Limit Your Footprint 

There are many ways to lessen your impact on the environment, from taking a bag to the farmers’ market with you or simply checking as you walk through a nature preserve that you’re not stepping on plants. Don’t let your dog go off the path, take public transportation when possible, and recycle. Be mindful of your impact on the natural spaces you spend time in, and leave nothing behind if you’re able.  

7. Spread the Word 

Tell your family, friends, and neighbors about coexisting with urban wildlife. Inform your followers on social media about the work the Urban Wildlife Institute is doing.

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