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There will be a tree planting as well as a beautiful council circle garden being made. Many students should be participating in this event especially to clean up our school campus. There also will be a bake sale at our event so we can raise money to help fund our future projects.
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Riverfield Roots & Shoots members have grown accustomed to gardening, composting, and helping take care of the campus environment. Before this season's planting began, we removed invasive, non-native plants and last year's dead growth from the fifteen beds we are tasked with maintaining. After cleaning out all the various garden beds and taking the unwanted plant material to our composting pile, we started planting. To make our gardens friendlier to native pollinators such as bees, moths and butterflies, we planted a variety of native plants throughout campus. Our flower beds serve several purposes: beauty for our visitors and families to enjoy, nectar sources for local butterflies and migratory Monarchs, and host plants for caterpillars. We are a certified Monarch WayStation and continue to plant a variety of milkweeds that are host plants for indigenous Black Swallowtails, Variegated Fritillaries, and Cloudless Sulphurs. Our nearly dozen species of nectar sources include Pentas, Perennial Lantanas, Mexican Sunflowers, Liatris, Ironweed and Joe-Pye Weed, Plus Phlox and Asters.
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The Worker Bees will be recruiting Bee Helpers to show what they have learned from NY is a Great Place to Bee! If anyone wants to participate with a display, a craft, or an activity, the Worker Bees will help them. They will also run the pollination and honey-making game to explain how important our pollinators are and how hard they work, the Communication: Scent ID and Communication: Language of Dance stations, as well as the always popular native wildflower seed bonbon making! There will be the opportunity to make native bee houses from recycled materials, and possibly also hibernacula for bumble bees, and other activities to be updated as time gets closer!
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Worker Bees will host interactive activities and a display booth with information, including games about bee communication through smell (pheremones) and dance (honey bee dance), a honey making activity where participants pretend to be a busy bee gathering "nectar" (water) with their "proboscis" (eyedropper) and "pollen" (yellow pompoms) with their "pollen baskets" (little baskets) from specially designed "flowers." They will also be shown how to make wildflower seed bonbons to plant wherever some native wildflowers are needed to feed the bees. A half-hour presentation about the project will be given mid-day.
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Our campaign is centered around nature play with a focus on conservation, wildlife preservation, and environmental awareness. Our school playground does not fully facilitate outdoor exploration and educational interactions with the environment. Our students brainstormed and recorded the ideas that they thought would help this campaign.
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We plan to plant a pollinator garden to support bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. We will also help to beautify our community while helping pollinators help us!
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This project will be completed by second grade students. They will create and maintain the garden. Once the garden is up and running the students will begin collecting data on the numbers of butterflies, eggs and larvae observed in our garden. the hope is that each year these numbers will increase.
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We would like to teach groups of local children about Jane and people like her. Then, we would like to take nature hikes where these children can photograph and/or draw pictures of the the things they see along the way, rather than disturbing them and attempting to collect them/bring them home. We will also teach the children never to leave anything in the woods that doesn't belong there, but to help pick up after people who did. We will also help them to understand that it is never necessary to "squash" a bug or harm any plant or creature.
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Our project will require research, coordination and support from various community partners. First, we are completing a Schoolyard Habitats audit (from https://www.nwf.org/Eco-Schools-USA/Become-an-Eco-School/Pathways/Schoolyard-Habitats/~/media/PDFs/Eco-schools/Audits/Fillable_2015_SYH_Audit.pdf) to identify needs and possible project options. Second, we are mapping the green spaces on campus in order to identify good places to place habitats. Third, we are looking for financial support to buy native drought tolerant plants, habitat construction materials and soils. Fourth, we are constructing various insect, bird and bat habitats, planting butterfly friendly flowers on campus and placing them in the wisest areas. Fifth, we are documenting activity over time. Sixth, we are going over the data and determining future habitats or moving present habitats. Lastly, we are reporting our progress to other students and the community.
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The demonstration garden will be located at the prairie transition zone, near the head of our Prairie Discovery Trail. The garden will contain the 5 dominate species of the coastal tallgrass prairie, big bluestem, eastern gamma grass, switchgrass, yellow indiangrass, and little bluestem. Historically, these species would have made up 80% of the prairie grasses. Each species will have an identification sign/guide. We will use these signs to teach our classes about the prairie grasses and the public and learn to identify the grasses before they embark on the trail. The planting of the grasses and weeding of the current area will mostly be done by community volunteers and our students.

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