Students at Trenton High School recently added a native plant garden to their campus in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation and Quail Forever. Members of the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter organized the planting. Native wildflowers and grasses can provide beauty and benefit pollinator insects such as butterflies.
Students prepared planting beds in advance at the school’s H. Frank Hoffman Building, which serves the school’s vocational agriculture program. On October 22, junior and senior students in the school’s Conservation class, and freshman students in the Ag Science 1 class, planted 125 plants. More than 30 native species were included, from grasses such as little bluestem to wildflowers such as prairie blazing star and showy goldenrod.
“We were striving for a plan that would have several different species blooming from early spring, and through the summer into late fall,” said Nate Mechlin, MDC private land conservationist.
MDC purchased the plant seedlings and staff helped Trenton High School teacher Sadie Roy plan the garden layout. Quail Forever staff donated Indian grass and helped with planting instruction. Students did the planting and will maintain the beds when plants begin to grow in spring. The planting will also become an educational aid, as some of the grass species are used in the FFA Grassland Evaluation competitions.
For more information about using native plants in-home or business landscaping gardens, visit THIS LINK. The Missouri Prairie Foundation offers a “Grow Native!” program, visit https://grownative.org/.