A non-profit organization is working with high school educators across the Midwest to establish pollinator habitat and restore prairies.
Sand County Foundation is encouraging agriculture and science educators in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to apply for $1,000 grants designed to involve high school aged students in raising native wildflowers and transplanting them in rural areas.
Sand County Foundation “supports voluntary conservation on working lands” by offering support to farmers and ranchers working to improve soil and water quality, as well as wildlife habitat. Craig Ficenec, Sand County Foundation program director, says his organization saw an opportunity to further its restorative efforts through agricultural educators.
“We decided to work directly with high school agricultural educators to involve their students in getting their hands dirty, literally,” Ficenec said. “They may have a school greenhouse and may be growing ornamental plants or vegetable plants for sale. We wanted to bring in the native wildflower species, common to the prairie ecosystem of the Midwest, and involve students in propagating and transplanting them effectively on the landscape.”
Interested parties should apply online before December 9, 2019.
Successful applicants will receive 600 seedlings of five native wildflower species. To complement its grant program, Sand County Foundation offers a Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide.
“We’ve partnered with Earth Partnership, which is part of the University of Wisconsin, to create a pollinator habitat guide,” Ficenec said. “It has over 30 activities for K through 12 educators and follows a 10-step restoration education process.”
The Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide is available for free download.