Heronwood Field Station’s Education for Employment students finished off the school year by planting a native garden to provide habitat for pollinators throughout the season. Students designed, propagated, transplanted, and planted two native gardens on the Heronwood property, totaling about 500 square feet. They planted 20 different species including cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), rough blazing star (Liatris aspera), Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), and smooth rose-mallow (Hibiscus laevis)
Students chose to plant a native garden to increase water infiltration to reduce erosion and run-off, increase biodiversity, and educate incoming students on the importance of native plants. However, students were most concerned about the lack of habitat for beneficial pollinator species located on the property. They looked at many environmental factors to determine what to plant including, shade tolerance and soil conditions. Focusing on pollinators, they designed their garden by assessing the bloom time and flower color of different plants to ensure that pollinators would have a food source throughout the entire season and different insect species would be attracted to the garden based on color preference.
KNC’s Conservation Biology class, offered in partnership with the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency’s Education for Employment (EFE) program, introduces students to the exciting careers in Natural Resource Conservation and Wildlife Biology. This is a laboratory/field-based course which involves hands-on learning of ecological science, animal and plant studies (i.e. behavior, identification), job shadowing and field trips. This course has special emphasis on skills and technology used in this profession. Students have direct contact with natural resource conservationists and wildlife biologists in this field of study. They will receive either their 2nd or 3rd high school science credit through this program, as well as, attain the skills necessary to obtain employment in various careers in Natural Resource Conservation and Wildlife Biology. To learn more about this program and enrollment requirements, please visit KRESA's website or call 269-250-9300