Scholastic Kids Press Corps
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Animals in Your Backyard

Animal Planet TV show helps build backyard habitats

By Taylor Keaton | April 22 , 2008
Kid Reporter Taylor Keaton with David Mizejewski, co-host of Animal Planet's TV show <i>Backyard Habitat</i>. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Keaton)
Kid Reporter Taylor Keaton with David Mizejewski, co-host of Animal Planet's TV show Backyard Habitat. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Keaton)

You can have a wildlife habitat right in your own backyard. David Mizejewski, co-host of Animal Planet’s Backyard Habitat, says everyone can introduce wildlife-friendly gardening in their own yards and help preserve animals.

Animal Planet’s Backyard Habitat is a program designed to educate people on ways to assist wildlife. It also helps people understand the importance of wildlife preservation. Just like we need water, food and shelter, wildlife needs it too.

The program airs on Wednesdays at 9 a.m., Eastern Time. DVDs featuring the program’s first 12 episodes will be on sale soon.

Recently, I visited Mizejewski at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) headquarters, near Washington, D.C. Mizejewski manages the NWF’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat program. He and Molly Pesce host Backyard Habitat, which is produced in partnership with NWF.

The first thing I noticed at the NWF office was a pond at the entrance of the building. It was filled with life. As I walked through the double glass doors, I read the words high above on the wall: “Our Mission is to Inspire Americans to Protect Wildlife for Our Children’s Futures.” I knew Mizejewski loved the outdoors when he suggested we conduct our interview outside. I felt very comfortable with him because I related to his love of wildlife and the preservation of the planet.

Mizejewski told me he fell in love with animals at the age of 5. Later, in high school, he read a book titled Noah’s Garden, which taught him how to plant trees and other vegetation that would help care for wildlife. In college, he studied ecology, which taught him how native plant communities and native wildlife species connect.

“They get into kind of like a rhythm,” he said. “They support one another in the evolution of life.”

Mizejewski said his goal was not to be famous. “I just wanted to make a difference,” he told Scholastic News Online.

There are many ways to help preserve habitats, and everyone can make a difference, he told me. You can plant trees to provide food and shelter, and set up birdbaths to provide water. You can also recycle and never litter.

“You can make the planet a better place, one backyard at a time,” Mizejewski said, echoing the theme of his popular TV show.


Celebrate Earth Day with Scholastic News Online! Learn more about how you can help take care of our planet in this special report.


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About the Author

Taylor Keaton is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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