In this section, we offer fun and informative coloring pages featuring aspects that are key to a healthy watershed environment. These include native plants, macroinvertebrates, pollinators and birds.
Native plants are important to a healthy watershed because they are adapted to local conditions and support native wildlife with proper food and shelter. Native plants also help to keep out aggressive non-native, "invasive", plants that can take over and create monocultures that can cause ecological disturbance. A healthy watershed system is marked by native biodiversity. Click through for coloring pages featuring native perennial plants. (More to come!)
Macroinvertebrates (insects, worms and snails—small, but visible to the naked eye) can give us an indication of the health of a body of water. Pick up a rock from the streambed or a clump of leaves pressed together by the current, and you are likely to find some aquatic macroinvertebrates clinging there. Macroinvertebrates are classified according to their tolerance for pollutants. The best water quality is often indicated by the presence of "EPT"—Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), and Tricoptera (caddisflies). If these “big three" are present, it is a good sign of clean water. Click through for coloring pages featuring macroinvertebrates.
Pollinators include butterflies, bees, bats, some birds, and other insects that play a crucial role in the reproduction of flowering plants. 75% of all flowering plants depend on animal pollinators, mostly bees. This includes native plants that provide berries and seeds for birds and other wildlife. Loss of these pollinator populations, often due to pesticides, degrades the habitat. And conversely, loss or degradation of habitat causes the loss of this kind of wildlife. Pollinators support biodiversity, again, a key indicator of the health of a watershed and the overall ecosystem. Click through for coloring pages featuring key pollinators. (Coming soon.)
Birds are bellwethers of watershed health. Why? Some are especially sensitive to pollutants and pesticides. Some are affected by development (including structures such as towers and buildings) and loss of habitat. All are affected by the lack of appropriate food sources, primarily insects. A healthy watershed should be full of native bird life! Click through for coloring pages featuring native birds. (Coming soon.)
To print out the artwork for coloring, simply right-click the image, click Open in a New Tab; then, select Print from your pulldown File menu, re-size as necessary using the Print Dialogue box, hit Print, and color away!