Students at the North Ed Career Tech in Traverse City are working to help the environment.
Their agriscience students planted a pollinator plot with the Grand Traverse Conservation District.
It started this December when North Ed Career Tech received a $1,000 grant from the Sand County Foundation in Wisconsin to buy native plant seedlings.
“Our students stratified these seeds, which means they put them in a cold and wet environment for about eight weeks—starting just before Christmas break. After that, they germinated those seeds and then transplanted these plants twice in our greenhouse,” said Brian Matchett, Teacher at North Ed Career Tech.
Bringing agriscience students to the final step of planting several native plant species on a quarter acre of land from the Grand Traverse Conservation District.
“We are planting yellow coneflowers, Asters, B Bonds, purple kale, and purple coneflowers,” said Abigail Petterson Junior at North Ed Career Tech.
“We are spreading them out 12 inches apart because overall, that’s how much they need to grow the best. So they’re not competing with each other, and that way we can spread across this entire field that we’re planting in,” said Bella Wolf, Senior at North Ed Career Tech.
The pollinator plot will help the environment for years to come.
“Pollinators are extremely important to the environment. Almost every plant species relies on pollinators, whether that’s wind pollination or through insects like bees and butterflies and other types of pollinator species,” said Matchett.
This is a first-of-its-kind project in Michigan.
The Grand Traverse Conservation District says this year it will be extremely helpful.
“The budburst was so short with cherry and apple blossoms. We’re actually worried about pollination that there was not enough time for the bees to make it. So this helps support insect life that brings pollination and biodiversity back into our ecosystem,” said Samantha Wolf, MAEAP Technician for the Grand Traverse Conservation District.
The North Ed Career Tech agriscience program hopes to repeat this project every year in different locations.