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Eisenhower High School Outdoor Wildlife Learning S

By: EHSecology

Demonstration/interpretive small gardens of mixed and tall grassland forbs and grasses  celebrate regional differences, giving students a deep sense of the land upon which they live.  The gardens  have an additional benefit of inviting migrating butterflies to our area---as we have planted butterfly Milkweed---becoming a certified Monarch Butterfly Way Station.  Students have rediscover the exotically beautiful indigenous plants that were here before our landscapes were homogenized.  These smaller raised flower beds, tagged for individual plant identification, would be handicapped accessible and adjacent to the high school green house to provide closer contact for students to help with identification in the larger native grasses and forbs area within our new site.  The gardens would also serve as the gateway to the larger OWLS native grasses area and planned nature trail.

 We elected to create xeriscape raised garden beds that involves selected native plants that are appropriate to the site creating a landscape that can be maintained with little supplemental watering.  Why is xeriscaping important?  The obvious answer is that we only have a finite amount of water and some years even less than others.  By grouping plants by their water needs, using mulch and drought tolerant plants, we will be conserving on water usage.  A xeriscape garden will also use less fertilizers and pesticides reducing the probability of the gardens becoming a non-point source polluter.

  Habitat---Blue Bird, Chickadee and Purple Martin house placement

Placement of the bird houses around the south side of the new school property (north of Kellogg) has encouraged nesting for migrating and local birds.  In addition, an opportunity to observe the unique flight patterns and feeding habits of birds as well studying migration arrival times will provide students with expanded outdoor experiences. 

 Resources

An Eisenhower High School OWLS User Guide for teachers K-12 to use prior, during and post visitation is under development outlining the culturally significant plants contained in our gardens and wildlife area.  This resource will be made available to anyone visiting the site.

  1.  Compost bins and interpretive signage.

Two compost bins will be placed immediately outside the greenhouse.  Interpretive signage on how compost is informed and why it is important will be placed adjacent to the compost bins for public viewing and sharing of information.

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