Third grade classes from both Miami Trace and Washington Court House schools participated in a youth pollinator habitat event on Earth Day thanks to the Deer Creek Pheasants Forever Chapter and the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District.
During the event Friday, students hand seeded a seed mix that included over 40 species of native wildflowers and grasses at the city farm near the YMCA. The event also included four education stations where students learned about habitats, how to identify many wildflower and grasses species, and the role pollinators play in producing many favorite foods that residents eat on a daily basis.
This project is part of the organization’s National Youth Pollinator Habitat Program which supports local chapters across the country in educating and engaging youth and community groups on establishing critical pollinator habitat. Essential to global food production, approximately one-third of all food and beverages are delivered by pollinating insects; however, many species of native pollinators and domesticated honey bees are in decline. Pheasants Forever’s Youth Pollinator Habitat Program is aimed at increasing awareness about decreasing pollinator populations and establishing critical pollinator nesting and foraging habitat.
“Today’s youth spend the majority of their time fixated on electronic devices while spending less than half of the time outdoors than did their parents’ generation,” said Drew Larsen, Pheasants Forever national habitat education specialist. “Habitat projects provide outstanding opportunities to get kids back outside, developing a conservation ethic and attachment to the land, while improving habitat for pollinators and upland birds.”
This project was made possible by funding from DuPont Pioneer, Bayer Bee Care, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Deer Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District, City of Washington Court House, Fayette County Master Gardeners. Other partners include the Tree Committee, Miami Trace FFA Chapter, Miami Trace Science Club, Carnegie Public Library and Under Armour, who helped volunteer. The agronomy club also provided site preparation for the project.
“This has been a great local project with a lot of community partners,” said Brigitte Hisey, Fayette SWCD Natural Resource Specialist, who helped organize the event along with Seth Rankin, Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist. “Getting youth and adults involved in a habitat project is a great way to spend Earth Day. Be inspired.”
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent – the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.
This article was provided by the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District.