by Jackie Arbuckle and Kara Schott Buchanan
Rock Point School (RPS) biology students and Pollinator Docents are both helping to create the Rock Point Solar Pollinator Meadow Project (a grassy meadow under the solar array at Rock Point, with wildflowers designed to attract pollinating insects).
This Spring, RPS biology students worked to grow native pollinator plants from seed. Kara Schott Buchanan, garden educator, joined science teacher Mari Dalton’s class weekly throughout the spring to start early seedlings and to foster them under grow lights. They were then moved into the school’s hoop house for hardening off before planting in new, raised beds built by Vermont Community Garden Network's Day-in-the-Dirt volunteers.
The successful starts included quantities of Black-eyed Susan’s, Purple Coneflower and Mountain Mint among others.
These perennial species will eventually be planted in the new pollinator meadow and in the demonstration garden for visitors (to be built next spring). RPS looks forward to continued contribution to the project with seed-starting throughout the four-year process, and the very relevant educational collaboration.
Pollinator Docents are also contributing to the meadow by researching one pollinator and one pollinator-friendly plant. They and Jackie Arbuckle are preparing themselves for a June meeting and training when they'll take turns presenting to the others what they’ve learned. They'll also measure the demonstration garden to create a planting plan and put together a syllabus for community teaching during this next year. This project is a four year process. In partnership with Bee the Change; the first two years are funded by a grant from the Episcopal Church, USA's Care for Creation ministry.