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Our project will take a piece of land that needs some TLC and turn it into a garden area. We will clean and clear existing vegetation and replace it with California Native plants that will attract and sustain butterflies, bees and birds.
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To create a place where teachers can bring students to explore the great outdoors in their school community.
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Our project will remove plants currently housed in a concrete raised bed by the 6th grade eating area and replace them with plants native to Southern California, as well as use plants that will attract pollinators to our campus. Our group will be involved in researching the plants, planting the garden, and routine care of the garden.
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The project that the students at Donaldson Elementary are requesting will allow them to build birdhouses. The students would like to build birdhouses for birds to use for nesting or as a shelter during winter. In addition, the students plan to use the birdhouses for scientific observations such as monitoring what types of things are used to make nests, how many eggs the bird lays, etc. Students will be extremely careful not to disturb the birds. With grant funding, the students will be able to purchase the necessary supplies such as lumber, dowels, wood glue, and stains. Students will carefully follow plans and when the birdhouses are completed, they will be hung on trees which have been a part of the school community for almost fifty years.
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The project will be in memory of our late principal along with creating a habitat for birds and other animals. An eco-bench will also be will be created out of recyclable materials. This project began this summer. Teachers and staff laid cardboard and mulch down where memorial bench will sit. The bench was purchased with grant money and is ready to be installed soon. Further monies are needed to complete community garden for students to learn about habitat and plants. Plan to have students plant vegetable garden for community use along with planting proper flowers for attracting and feeding bees and butterflies.
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We rarely see butterflies in our park. The butterfly garden will encourage the butterflies to come back to the park.
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Last year, my 2016-2017 class learned that seed balls made gardening easy, fun, and accessible. They learned that seed balls grow endangered wildflowers needed by pollinators, protect seeds from wind, birds, squirrels, and other critters, and has easy dispersal for more uniform coverage. So, they hand-rolled approximately 600 seed balls and shared them with their families and friends by putting bowls of packaged seed balls with planting directions (the “guerilla” method was the most popular to write about!) out at Open House for our entire school to take home to plant in their gardens. Many of my 2017-2018 class got to take these seed balls home as second graders and came into my third grade class at the beginning of this year not only wanting to make more seed balls, but enthusiastic to share them with the other schools close by to us. This goal came from wanting to include their friends who maybe are on the same sports teams, Girl and Boy Scout groups, or other community groups as well as their older siblings and their friends who may be at the middle school. So, my 2017-2018 class’ plan of action is to make more seed balls to not only share with our school community, but also the two elementary schools and the one middle school closest to our school campus.
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Students have already started to "take action" for the Earthbench project. The Kids for Positive Change presentations about Sharks & Sea Turtles and Parrots & Backyard Birds, taught students about the problems these species are facing, with a focus on plastic bags, bottles, pieces and straws. Students chose creating and building an Earthbench for their Classroom-Community Action Assignment! Last school year (2016/2017), 85, 4th grade students, from the Kids for Positive Change Flagship Project, started making bottle bricks (plastic bottles stuffed with plastic pieces and plastic bags). Now, 5th graders, these students, along with all of the 4th grade classes and remaining 5th grade classes (572 total) have started working on the Earthbench Project by collecting materials and bottle bricking in the classroom, in art classes, at home...even while waiting for the bus! Step by Step Action: 1.) Kids for Positive Change has been working with the school Art Teacher to design the bench. The bench will be made in the shape and likeness of a dragon, the school system's mascot (Lakeside Dragons). 2.) With the design in place, Kids for Positive Change has reached out to Earthbench.org organizers, seeking guidance on how best to construct the bench, using bottlebricks, straw, clay, sand and cement. 3.) Teachers, students and community members and the Founder of LEADERship Ashtabula County, have started to collect plastic bags, plastic pieces and bottles for the bottle bricks. 4.) Collection bins for plastics will be established in both Superior and Erie Intermediate Schools by Sept. 30th, if not sooner 5.) Students have started and will continue to make bottle bricks (the foundation of the bench) from Sept. 2017-March 2018. 6.) 4th & 5th grade students will build the bench, using the bottle bricks as a foundation, staring April 2018, with the help from an experienced builder. 7.) 6th grade students will contribute to the Earthbench, by making the teeth and spin of the dragon, out of recycled materials 8.) The Earthbench will be "unveiled" on Earth Day 2018, or in May 2018, on our Kids for Positive Change Celebration Day! 9.) The Earthbench creating, building and unveiling will be documented for the school newsletter, website and local paper, ensuring community involvement and sharing of knowledge!
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In a food web, everything depends on everything else. A single change can disrupt or even destroy an entire ecosystem. We learned that bee populations are in decline. Without bees to pollinate our plants, we could have a big problem on our hands. That is why our 4th grade classes have decided to work together to be at least a small part in revitalizing bee populations by building a bee sanctuary. Each class has taken on a specific role in the project, and our focus is on making the sanctuary an inviting place for students and community members to visit so they can enjoy nature and learn more about the importance of protecting pollinators. We will define paths in the sanctuary, build simple benches for seating, and create signs that help to educate visitors to the sanctuary.
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I will plant native Texas flowers that will attract hummingbirds and butterflies, which will give them a safe place to eat and rest.

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