12 Wisconsin Schools Receive Pollinator Grants
February 18, 2019
Twelve Wisconsin schools have been awarded grants to establish habitat for imperiled insect pollinators and monarch butterflies.
The pollinator habitat grants were awarded to Wisconsin agricultural and science educators by Sand County Foundation, We Energies Foundation, Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Dairyland Power Cooperative.
Each grant recipient will receive native wildflower seedlings, a training webinar and consultation, and a $1,000 grant for the school district or FFA chapter to offset project expenses.
The schools selected are:
- Arrowhead High School, Hartland (Waukesha County)
- Beaver Dam High School, Beaver Dam (Dodge County)
- Campbellsport High School, Campbellsport (Fond du Lac County)
- Glenwood City High School, Glenwood City (St. Croix County)
- Greenwood Middle/High School, Greenwood (Clark County)
- Mayville High School, Mayville (Dodge County)
- Menominee Indian School District, Keshena (Menominee County)
- Mishicot High School, Mishicot (Manitowoc County)
- Oconto Falls High School, Oconto Falls (Oconto County)
- Randolph High School, Randolph (Columbia and Dodge counties)
- Shullsburg High School, Shullsburg (Lafayette County)
- Sun Prairie High School, Sun Prairie (Dane County)
“Our objective is to engage students in adding native wildflower diversity to rural areas for the benefit of pollinators and Monarch butterflies,” said Craig Ficenec, Sand County Foundation program director. “Pollinators are essential for crop pollination and ecological diversity, but the numbers of wild bees and monarch butterflies have dropped, partly because of the loss of native wildflower habitat near farmland.”
To qualify for the grants, the schools needed greenhouses or suitable indoor growing areas to raise the nearly 600 seedlings of milkweed, prairie blazing star, wild bergamot, and other species they will receive in March. They were also required to identify a rural area (preferably a farm) where they will transplant these native wildflowers in the spring, and tend to them through the summer.
“For transplanting, we encouraged applicants to find nooks and crannies on the working landscape. This could be a field buffer, a private roadside, open space around agricultural facilities, or other uncultivated areas,” Ficenec added.
“We received a great volume of grant applications from Wisconsin educators. It’s clear that Wisconsin students and landowners care about the plight of pollinators and monarchs,” he added.
Sand County Foundation is a national non-profit that champions voluntary conservation practices by farmers and ranchers to improve soil, water and wildlife habitat.