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Going native: restoring wildflowers and studentsí connection

Project Full Title:

Going native: restoring wildflowers and studentsí connection with nature

Project Mentor(s):

Muilenburg,Vanessa; Scogin,Stephen

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Project Start Date:


Project End Date:


Project Description:

Establishing mixed plantings of native plants like wildflowers creates a valuable reservoir of biodiversity. Not only do mixed plantings help conserve our floral biodiversity, they also facilitate restoration of habitats and ecosystem services. Mixed wildflower plantings increase ecosystem services by reducing rain water run-off, providing insect pest control by predators like spiders, and providing food for our native pollinators. We aim to create a mosaic of wildflower patches to restore native floral plants and fauna they support. In collaboration with local educators, we intend to use these gardens to increase authentic, scientific discovery by elementary students. In this project, a student will assess the change in ecosystem services (carbon storage, arthropod diversity, etc) in a wildflower patch next to Schaap Science Center compared to adjacent, original groundcover. The student will also help prepare a site at a local school for a wildflower patch to be used in the elementary science curriculum. Finally, the student will continue ongoing development of scientific curricula appropriate for elementary students that are aligned with current state standards.

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