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Pollinator Grants Offered to Minnesota Schools

Minnesota high school students can help establish habitat for imperiled insect pollinators and monarch caterpillars.

High school agriculture and science educators in 20 Minnesota counties are encouraged to apply for $1,000 grants to raise and transplant native wildflowers in rural areas.

Insect pollinators and monarch caterpillars are essential for crop pollination and ecological diversity. In recent years their numbers are low partly due to loss of native wildflower habitat near farmland.

In response, Sand County Foundation and Enel Green Power North America Inc. are offering a pollinator habitat grant program for high schools. The program supplies plants, growing materials and $1,000 grants to high school agricultural and science departments.

Successful applicants will receive about 600 seedlings of five native wildflower species in March. Students must raise the plants in school greenhouses, transplant them to appropriate sites in the spring, and maintain and monitor the plants through the summer.

“The objective of the grants is for students to add native wildflower diversity to agricultural settings for the benefit of pollinators.” explained Craig Ficenec, Sand County Foundation program director.

“For transplanting, we encourage applicants to find nooks and crannies within the working landscape. This could be a field buffer, a private roadside, open space around agricultural facilities, or other uncultivated areas” he added.

The deadline to apply is January 18. To apply, visit

Teachers will receive a training webinar, remote consultation from a private native plant nursery, and a $1,000 cash award paid to school districts or FFA chapters to offset project expenses.

This opportunity is made possible to Minnesota schools in Enel Green Power’s 20-county service area: Blue Earth, Carver, Chisago, Clay, Dodge, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Meeker, Olmstead, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Waseca, Washington and Wright counties.

Enel Green Power North America Inc. operates the 150 MWdc Aurora Solar project in Minnesota.

Sand County Foundation is a national non-profit that champions voluntary conservation practices by farmers and ranchers to improve soil, water and wildlife habitat.