Pollinator Grants for Schools (Due 12/01/17)

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Pollinator Grants for Schools (Due 12/01/17)

By robertpawloskiIn standard15th October, 2017

ND Game and Fish Department, in partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is giving out grant money for school pollinator gardens (see below).  Please share this information with other teachers/schools that may be interested.  The deadline to apply is December 1.

Urban Pollinator Program (UPP)

Facilitators: North Dakota Game and Fish and the Natural Resources Conservation Service – Plant Materials Center

Purpose Statement: UPP was created to provide students with hands-on educational opportunities, communities with places to gather and learn, and pollinators with habitat in cities and towns across North Dakota.

Pollinator kit timeline: Applications for the kit must be submitted by December 1st. Kits will go out in March and will include the lesson plans, information packets, an id book (digital copy will be available on the NDGF website), and all the materials needed to begin growing two trays of flowers in the classroom. The plugs will be growing in the Plant Materials Center in Bismarck, ND during this time. (Field trips to this location are optional.) By May 15th, 100 plugs of wildflowers and grasses will be delivered to the school so the garden can be planted prior to summer break. A sign proclaiming the garden as a certified North Dakota UPP Garden will also be delivered along with the plugs.

Importance of Program: Pollinators play a vital role in biodiversity, providing services for over 80% of flowering plants. In addition, 75% of the world’s leading crops are dependent upon animal pollination. Many pollinators are highly reliant on particular native plants, like the monarch and milkweed. Unfortunately, in recent years pollinators and the plants they depend on have been on the decline. Creating pollinator gardens will provide these mobile species with a patchwork of habitat in developed areas where habitat has been limited. A well maintained UPP garden will provide opportunities for education and the necessary resources for an array of native pollinators for years to come.

Benefit to teachers and students: Many schools are limited in resources needed to provide class trips to natural areas. However, most have property available right outside their classrooms that could be used to develop outdoor, hands-on curriculum. This opportunity to apply knowledge to real world situations enhances the students’ ability to remember and comprehend. Actively engaging students with wildlife also facilitates greater attentiveness and appreciation for our natural world and prepares a generation that will soon be the stewards of our environment.

Who is eligible: Any elementary school, middle school, high school, special education school, college, or educational club will be eligible to apply for an UPP grant. The purpose of UPP is to facilitate outdoor pollinator learning sites on as many school and community grounds as possible.

Requirements: The applicant is required to have a minimum area of 150 square feet for the garden. Site preparation and garden maintenance through the life of the project is also the responsibility of the applicant.

Pollinator kit: Each pollinator kit will include grade-appropriate lesson plans, a plant id book including plants that will be present in the garden, information on the pollinators that depend on them, and common weeds, as well as all the materials needed to grow two trays of flowers in the classroom (seed starting trays, flat trays, humidity domes, seeds, and soil). 100 plugs of wildflowers and grasses.

Process:

  1. Gain approval for a school garden by the Principal and the maintenance team (if they will be aiding in site preparation and garden upkeep). An approval letter from the principal is required to receive a pollinator kit.
  2. (Not required but highly recommended) Find a local gardener to assist with garden implementation and upkeep or to act as a knowledgeable resource.
  3. Apply through the online application form or by printing the form and mailing it to the UPP Coordinator by December 1st.

UPP Coordinator Contact: Elisha Mueller, ekmueller@nd.gov, 701-328-6348, North Dakota Game and Fish Department 100 N. Bismarck Expwy. Bismarck, ND 58501-5095