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Through the Common Ground program students will learn compassionate land management skills at the Crane Trust Nature Center. These students will be removing invasive young eastern red cedar trees from native prairie habitat, they will extend the present hiking trail system by developing a new trail and they will be creating a new viewing blind where they and the public can observe sandhill cranes and other wildlife along the Platte River.
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We will purchase native, drought tolerant seeds and plants and plant them then tend to them on our campus to encourage increased biodiversity of flora and fauna. This will also beautify our campus.
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we will (with permission) replenish vacant and undesirable spots with beautiful sweet-smelling wildflowers for the bees and for US!
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Our project is all about action! Students will be working together with people that are master gardeners and people that are knowledgeable about the Chesapeake Bay watershed in seeking guidance on how our part of the frog area helps contribute towards the Chesapeake Bay. Our lessons will be shared directly with the classroom Earth Science teachers in Earth Science grade 6, which will, in turn, be passed on to the students and be shared in a meaningful, relevant, real-world manner.
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My students and I would work with our Technology/Construction staff in the design and construction of two wooden work tables that would be built between three trees. Students would be responsible for all of the work....from researching designs, what type of wood will be needed, to the actual construction of the work tables!
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We are meeting at Moody Ave. playground to plant milkweed seeds and if members bring a packet of seeds each then we will divide them amongst the group to plant at home. The kids can also play on the playground afterwards. Hopefully we can recruit some new members during this meeting as well.
Rwanda
12 months in MUHANGA District Rwanda, yes will be visible to the public
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In October, we surveyed our campus several times and found it lacks variety of plants, birds, and other wildlife. We have identified 3 sites on our campus to convert into suitable habitat for plants and birds. We installed 3 raised-bed gardens. We will use our 3 new garden beds to cultivate flowers and plants that are native to Michigan or are suitable for our climate. Students led research will guide our planting decisions. Initially, community support will be necessary for our success. We will need to seek seasonal donations of flower seeds and other plants for our garden beds. Donated items will grow in our garden beds. Once plants are mature, they will be transplanted all around our campus in hopes that the new foliage and flowers will attract birds and other wildlife. After the first cycle or transplants, students will be taught to harvest seeds, split plants, and propagate new shoots. This winter we are making bird feeders from pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseeds. We will make more than 50 pinecone feeders and hang them from existing trees to help lure birds onto our campus. We will recycle heavy-duty plastic bottles and make birdhouses. Students will count the number of birds at feeders throughout the winter. After the first year, we hope to use our beds to grow flowers for fundraising. Our goal will be to use the money to make purchases that will further develop our garden and habitat sites.
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Action Plan Overview: 1. Develop plans for the design of the garden *Completed: Students researched native species and designed garden space) 2. Ask permission and seek support *Completed: We have a space determined and have support from the district's buildings and grounds department and from the National Wildlife Federation's Pollinator Garden project. https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/National-Initiatives/Plant-For-Pollinators 3. Collect seeds *Completed: We have collected native plant seeds from our school grounds. Other seeds will be provided by the NWF 4. Seek out additional funding *Completed: We have secured a grant from WPS for a hydroponics system---soon we will be raising our plants in our classroom from seed! 5. Raise plants through the winter and plant in the spring on a portion of the garden along a trail 6. In the main/larger area, we need to herbicide the entire area in August to prepare for the mass seed planting 7. In late September/early October NWF will come out and help us spread the seed as a classroom activity 8. In the spring, the seeds will grow and we will monitor the growth continually---maintenance on the garden will be annual mowing
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It will make the Abilene Zoo a more beautiful place. We will take out most of the current plants in the existing garden and add newer, native butterfly friendly plants. Our hope is that more people will want to make their own butterfly gardens at home and we're helping them do that by creating interactive activities.

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