Graver Arboretum

Wetland Ecology

Students research wetland plants and present their information to the class.  
They learn the ecological services provided by wetlands and the factors that determine wetland boundaries.  Wetland conservation is also covered. 

Grades: 8-12

Time Needed: 3 hours + research time before the field study

Muhlenberg College Wetland Ecology Module/Unit (PDF File - 4.4 MB)

Lehigh Valley Watershed Module/Unit - by Therese Ehrenreich, Whitehall High School
(PDF File 3.83 MB)

Sample Watershed Brochure (PDF File, .5 MB - For classroom use only)

LESSON 1- Wetland Metaphors

Web sites for the teacher:

Association of State Wetland Managers.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Wetlands -
The Functions of Wetlands -

LESSON 2 - Living Labels- Wetland Plants

Web sites for the teachers and students:

Boundary Waters Compendium- Aquatic Plants of the North

Connecticut Botanical Society

Graver Arboretum Facultative Wetland Plants Page

Graver Arboretum Obligate Wetland Plants Page

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center- Native Plant Information Network

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper Center for Home Gardening Plantfinder

NatureServe Explorer- Online Encyclopedia of Life

North Carolina State University- Marginal Aquatics

Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry- Common Trees of Pennsylvania

Plant Conservation Alliance- Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping in Maryland

Plant Conservation Alliance- Plant Invaders of the Mid-Atlantic

Plants for a Future- Online Database

Purdue University Center for New Crop and Plant Products- Crop Search

University of Main Cooperative Extension- Native Plant Recommendations

University of Pennsylvania- PA Flora Project

US Geological Survey- Northeast Wetland Flora

Virginia Natural Heritage Program- Native Plant Tables

Washington Natural Heritage Program- Field Guide to Selected Rare Plants of Washington

Wellesly College- Web of Species

LESSON 3  - Wetland Vegetation Survey

Web sites for the teacher and students:

West Coast (of British Colombia) Environmental Law, Selected Wetland Glossary

LESSON 4- Wetland Soils

Web sites for the teacher:

NOAA/Forecast Systems Laboratory.  Globe, Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Planet.

US Forest Service.  Investigating Your Environment

Web sites for the students:

University of Illinois Extension.  Four Major Components of Soil.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Soil Science Education Homepage

LESSON 5  - Wetland Hydrology

Web sites for the teacher and students:

Please see Lesson 3

LESSON 6- Wetland Topography

Web sites for the teacher:

Kid's Gardening - Let it Flow.

US Geological Survey Learning Web.  What Do Maps Show?