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Pollinator Garden Serves as Basis for Environmental Study

June 12, 2018

Ashby (MN) Public School middle school science teacher, Heidi Kent, received a $1,000 2017-18 Grants in Place award for her project, Park Ecosystem Study, which allowed students to do a field study of a public area--check water quality and pollution levels (with guidance from the Grant County Water Conservation District), do a wildlife species count, plant species count, and create a small information display to communicate our findings.

Students were to create a bird watching area by putting in a few bird feeders, bird bath, and bird/duck houses in select spots. In addition, this project included a few berry trees, shrubs, and perennials to attract birds and butterflies. Kent's project was one of five regional Minnesota Grants in Place projects that were funded with matching support from the West Central Initiative, an innovative community foundation based out of Fergus Falls.

We are pleased to report that this environmentally-oriented place-based project has progressed quite nicely, and Ms. Kent provided us with the following report:

I am updating you on the "final" portion of our 2017 Rural Schools Collaborative Grant "Park Ecosystem" activity in Ashby. We planted a 200 square foot pollinator garden, put in plum and cherry trees, and analyzed the water in one of our city park areas. We will make our testing supplies available to other community members so they can test their own ponds. We finished putting up over 15 bird houses around town in various parks. We will also be continuing care of our Pollinator garden and hope to add more as time goes on.

Thank you so much.

Heidi Kent
Ashby School

Thank you to Heidi Kent and her students for their good work. And thanks again to the West Central Initiative for their support of place-based learning.


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