To increase habitat for insect pollinators and monarch butterflies we’re working with educators and youth. We offer financial grants for Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin high schools to propagate native plants in greenhouses and transplant them onto rural areas.
In 2018 we introduced a Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide that is aligned with current education standards for Midwestern high school science and agriculture educators.
These efforts are made possible by funding to Sand County Foundation from Enel Green Power North America, Inc., We Energies Foundation, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Monarch Joint Venture.
Sand County Foundation is working with high school agriculture and science educators from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to have students propagate native forbs (wildflowers) in school greenhouses and transplant them next spring with collaborating landowners.
This competitive grant program strives to increase the diversity of native forbs within an agricultural landscape for the benefit of native bees, honeybees, and monarch butterflies. Applicants must commit to finding a suitable site for transplanting. Ideally, you will team up with a farmer (to enhance a field buffer, CRP, etc) or other private property such as an agricultural or rural electric co-op. School properties can be considered if dedicated to agricultural or natural habitat purposes. In all cases, proper site preparation prior to transplanting will be key to a successful outcome.
Successful applicants will receive seedlings of five native forb species in late March or early April. Students will grow out these plants in a school greenhouse or other suitable indoor area, transplant them onto an appropriate site in late May or June, and maintain and monitor the plants through the summer.
Recipients receive a training webinar, remote consultation from a private native plant nursery, and a $1,000 cash award paid to the school district or FFA chapter to offset project expenses.
Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide
Together with the Earth Partnership at the University of Wisconsin, we developed a Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide that is available via free download. The guide provides high school educators with a set of activities appropriate for establishing, managing, and monitoring prairie habitat suitable for monarch butterflies, other insect pollinators and grassland birds. The guide aligns with Common Core and Next Generation Science standards. Click here for more information.
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