Dec 15, 2022
Midwest students to cultivate native plants through pollinator grants

Twenty-one Midwest schools will receive pollinator habitat grants from a Wisconsin-based nonprofit land conservation organization.

Sand County Foundation is awarding the grants to agriculture and science programs at high schools in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Each school district or Future Farmers of America chapter will receive prairie seeds and seedlings, a consultation and $1,000 to support project expenses. Students will germinate and grow native plants in winter and plant them in the spring.

Students will use the pollinator grants to germinate and grow native plants such as the Joe Pye weed, which attracts Monarch butterflies. Photo: Provided

“Insect pollinators are essential for crop pollination and ecological diversity. In recent years their numbers are low partly due to loss of native wildflower habitat, especially in the agricultural landscape,” said Haley Diem, Sand County Foundation school grant program coordinator. “We encourage applicants to partner with landowners to establish pollinator habitat on agricultural and other working lands.”

Grant program sponsors include Syngenta, Enel North America, Monarch Joint Venture, U.S. Forest Service International Programs, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, and We Energies Foundation. Educators and landowners interested in becoming involved in the project can contact Diem at

All teachers can access a Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide developed through a partnership between Sand County Foundation and University of Wisconsin ecological education organization Earth Partnership. The guide’s 28 activities, aligned with state and national education standards, include planning, establishing, managing, and monitoring prairie habitat for insect pollinators and grassland birds.

The guide is available for free download.

The schools receiving pollinator grants are:


Brownstown High School, Brownstown

Eisenhower High School, Decatur

Libertyville High School, Libertyville


South Winneshiek Community School, Calmar

Lynnville-Sully High School, Lynnville-Sully

Manson Northwest Webster Junior/High School, Manson

Stanton Community Schools, Stanton

Underwood High School, Underwood


Clarkston High School, Clarkston

Ravenna High School, Ravenna


Alexandria Area High School, Alexandria

Bertha-Hewitt Public School, Bertha

Duluth East High School, Duluth

Hutchinson High School, McLeod

Thomas Edison High School, Minneapolis


Cambridge High School, Cambridge

Ozaukee High School, Fredonia

Independence High School, Independence

Indian Trail High School & Academy, Kenosha

Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac

Waupun Area Junior & Senior High School, Waupun


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