Calling all pollinators

LP-A Elementary students plant 1,100 seedlings at their school

Jack Beringer, left, watches carefully as Joseph Schauer digs into the straw matting and soil to make room for the new plant that will be going there. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Jack Beringer, left, watches carefully as Joseph Schauer digs into the straw matting and soil to make room for the new plant that will be going there. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Logan Riedel of the Becker SWCD brings in some new seedlings for the sixth graders at LP-A Elementary School to start planting this past Wednesday morning. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Logan Riedel of the Becker SWCD brings in some new seedlings for the sixth graders at LP-A Elementary School to start planting this past Wednesday morning. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Jesse Peterson (left), Holden Krause and Harper Bach share smiles as Krause shows the younger students he's mentoring how to plant a new seedling in the soil at LP-A Elementary's new pollinator garden. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Jesse Peterson (left), Holden Krause and Harper Bach share smiles as Krause shows the younger students he's mentoring how to plant a new seedling in the soil at LP-A Elementary's new pollinator garden. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

This past Wednesday, May 29, students at Lake Park-Audubon Elementary School in Audubon spent the morning digging holes and planting seedlings in the soil on the school's south lawn, with the intent of transforming it into a large pollinator garden.

LP-A sixth graders took turns mentoring their younger counterparts in grades K-5, who came out to the new garden in waves throughout the morning. By about 1 p.m., more than 1,100 seedlings had been planted there, with a little help from Becker Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff as well as members of the Pine to Prairie Chapter of Pheasants Forever.

"Altogether, we had nine different conservation organizations working with us on this project," said LP-A sixth grade teacher Katie O'Connell. "It's been a year in the planning."

Though the school already had a small pollinator garden, converted from a flower and vegetable garden that was installed there about three years ago, it has now been expanded to encompass much of the school's south lawn, adjacent to the greenhouse that was built there in 2017-18.

The greenhouse project was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund's "America's Farmers Grow Rural Education" program, and constructed by students in Cole Wixo's construction trades class at LP-A High School.

O'Connell said the school has received "multiple grants and donations" to complete its garden project, including funding from Audubon Dakota, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Minnesota Ag in the Classroom, Friends of the Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District, Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, Cormorant Sportsman's Club and Longspur Prairie Fund as well as the aforementioned Becker SWCD and Pheasants Forever. 

For full article, go to: DLOnline

Source, image(s), credits & more: DLOnline | Vicki Gerdes