Wild Ones   Past Awards - The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program  

The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, or other non-profit educational organizations whose efforts in establishing outdoor learning centers best reflect the Wild Ones educational efforts to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.


2011 Seeds for Education Grantees

  • Watkins Montessori School – Washington, DC – $250
    As part of our move to a new location near Union Station, parents and children will install a native plant garden with wildflowers, grasses and shrubs. They will learn about protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  • Halau Ku Mana – Public Charter School, Honolulu, Hawaii – $250
    Students in grades 11-12 are reforesting sections of their campus with native plants as part of their botany curriculum. They will address state science benchmarks while honoring the Hawaiian principle of caring for the land, aloha aina.
  • Conyers Learning Academy – Rolling Meadows, Illinois – $250
    Third year of ongoing creation of a school habitat and garden by early childhood special education and at-risk preschoolers. The garden is created to draw species of butterflies such as the monarch and the black swallowtail, as well as the bumblebee. The underground habitat of worms and insects continues to be of interest.
    Greater DuPage
  • Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center – Olympia Fields, Illinois – $250
    High school students developed plans to redevelop park land into an outdoor classroom featuring native prairie plants.
  • Lake Forest Open Lands Association – Lake Forest, Illinois – $250
    Groups of students in a fourth grade program called Earth Stewards will help diversify the native plant population.
  • O'Neill Middle School – Downers Grove, Illinois – $250
    Twenty 7th and 8th grade members in the garden club will rejuvenate a Courtyard Classroom with native plants. The school already has a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
    Greater DuPage
  • Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens – Rockford, Illinois – $250
    Restoration of a low-growing prairie meadow as an outdoor classroom for visitors, neighborhood school groups, scouts and families.
    Rock River Valley
  • Pinewood Middle School GR – Kentwood, Michigan – $250
    Seventh grade students are creating a rain garden in the shape of a peace symbol on school property. They have already installed native plants in one section and prepared the rest of the site.
    River City - Grand Rapids Area
  • Royal Oak Nature Society – Royal Oak, Michigan – $250
    Restoring the ground layer of an Oak Savanna remnant adjacent to a high school and a senior center.
    Southeast Michigan
  • Woldumar Nature Center – Lansing, Michigan – $250
    Remaking a fence row area into a native prairie planting for environmental education curriculum. Children in our "Web of Life" curriculum focus on learning about the food chain for native species: microorganisms, insects, birds, etc.
    Red Cedar
  • Dowling Urban Environmental Elementary School – Minneapolis, Minnesota – $250
    Students will expand the garden by germinating seeds in the school greenhouse. Students will compare the native plant garden species to two areas within walking distance of the school: an oak savannah remnant and an area dominated by invasive species. They will update a log of sighted plant and animals using a tethered, rainproof notebook.
    Twin Cities
  • New City School – Minneapolis, Minnesota – $250
    Project will expand the Monarch Meadow, a small native prairie garden, to provide more space for groups, increase the diversity of plant species, and add more native shrubs.
    Twin Cities
  • Niagara Falls Public Library – Niagara Falls, New York – $250
    Create community gardens as an outdoor classroom with a nearby elementary school.
    Niagara Falls & River Region
  • Maria Early Learning Center – Toledo, Ohio – $250
    We are transforming a lawn into a Sensory Garden for young children. The heart of the garden will be native plants, an exciting place to develop stewardship of the natural world.
    Oak Openings Region
  • St. George Village Botanical Garden – Frederiksted, Virgin Islands – $250
    Planned, developed and implemented by local students, the Children's Garden will serve as a natural space to study native and endangered species.
  • Timber-Lee Christian Center – East Troy, Wisconsin – $250
    Teach kids about endangered communities and restore Oak Openings near a small lake for environmental education programs.
    Milwaukee SE-Wehr


2010 Seeds for Education Grantees

  • Elizabeth Learning Center – California – $300
    Native-Plant Habitat and Botanic Garden Using Desert Plants
  • Franklin Middle School – Wisconsin – $300
    Enriching With Legumes a Native Wisconsin Prairie Garden
    Green Bay (WI) Chapter
  • Clintonville High School – Wisconsin – $300
    East Prairie Biodiversity Enhancement Project
    Wolf River (WI) Chapter
  • Westgate Elementary, Edmonds School District – Washington – $300
    Michele Boyd Schoolyard Habitat Restoration Project
  • The Farm School – Tennessee – $300
    Farm School Garden Project
  • Clark Fork School – Montana – $300
    Native Garden Education Area
  • Wiley Elementary PTA – North Carolina – $300
    Ecological Restoration Focusing on Piedmont Savannah
  • Crow Middle/High School – Oregon – $300
    Converting Older School Landscaping to Native Plants
  • Shelby County Parks and Recreation – Kentucky – $150
    Provide Native Trees and Shrubs as Educational Landscaping Around a Future Nature Center
    Louisville Metro (KY) Chapter
  • Walton Elementary School – Maine – $150
    Introduce Native Plants into an Area Adjacent to the School Playground
  • Kaneland McDole Elementary – Illinois – $150
    Outdoor Prairie Classroom
    Northern Kane County (IL) Chapter
  • Papahana Kuaola – Hawaii – $150
    5th Grade Students Bringing Back Native Plants and Creating a Native Garden
  • Shawboro Elementary – North Carolina – $150
    Shawboro Elementary Outdoor Classroom Habitat
  • Plainfield North High School – Illinois – $150
    Replacing a Large Lawn Area With Native Prairie
    Greater DuPage (IL) Chapter
  • Discovery Charter School – California – $150
    Providing Habitat for Butterflies and Hummingbirds
  • Kimberton Waldorf School – Pennsylvania – $150
    Rain Garden
    Habitat Resource Network of Southeast Pennsylvania (PA) Chapter
  • Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy – Arizona – $150
    Colton Community Youth Garden
  • Vera Ralya Elementary School – Michigan – $150
    Establish a Michigan Prairie Ecosystem in the Existing Courtyard Outdoor Classroom
    Red Cedar (MI) Chapter
  • Westwood Elementary – Wisconsin – $150
    Butterfly Garden Using Prairie Plants
    Green Bay (WI) Chapter


2009 Seeds for Education Grantees

  • Resources for Health – Paradise Valley Arizona – $350
    Native Seeds Garden
  • Canyon Crest Academy EcoClub – San Diego, California – $350
    Replacing Lawn with native Plant Garden at Canyon Crest Academy
  • Mancos Public Library – Mancos, Colorado – $350
    The Library Butterfly Garden Classroom
  • Green Urban Living Center – Miami, Florida – $350
    Green Urban Living Center Wetland Project
  • Winneshiek County Conservation Board – Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin – $350
    South Winneshiek Outdoor Classroom
  • Girl Scout Troop 319 – South Beloit, Illinois – $350
    Butterfly Paradise Garden
    Rock River Valley (IL) Chapter
  • Monteleone Junior High School – Mandeville, Louisiana – $350
    Wildlife Garden at Monteleone Junior High School
  • Missaukee Conservation District – Lake City, Michigan – $350
    The N.E.W. (Nature's Exciting Wonders) Missaukee Fitness and Nature Trail
    Mid-Mitten (MI) Chapter
  • STEPS for Kids nature Club (Pine Lake Village Co-op) – Ann Arbor, Michigan – $350
    Montrio Pond Rehabilitation Project
    Ann Arbor (MI) Chapter
  • Lonedell R-14 School District – Lonedell, Missouri – $350
    Outdoor Classroom
    St. Louis (MO) Chapter
  • Orange County Community College, SUNY Orange – Biology Department – Middletown, New York – $350
    Themed Education Garden
    Habitat Gardening in Central New York (NY) Chapter
  • Out & About Preschool – Tiffin, Ohio – $350
    Wildflower Garden. Out & About Preschool is the first nature-based licensed preschool in the state of Ohio
    Toledo (OH) Chapter
  • The Friends of the Ohio Governos Residence & Heritage Garden – Columbus, Ohio – $350
    Building the Allegheny Plateau Region of the Ohio Governors Residence Heritage Garden
    Columbus (OH) Chapter
  • Kyle Elementary School – Environmental Study Center – Kyle, Texas $350
    Kyle Elementary Environmental Study Center
  • Friends of the Mead/McMillan Association Inc. – Milladore, Wisconsin – $350
    Educational Prairie and Rain Garden
    Central Wisconsin (WI) Chapter
  • Hudson Middle School – Hudson, Wisconsin – $350
    Hudson Middle School Prairie, Planting of a prairie and native species garden at entrance to Hudson School Forest
    St. Croix Oak Savanna (MN) Chapter
  • Bolling Inc. – Lewisburg, West Virginia – $350
    Reverend Carl Renick Memorial Butterfly Garden at Bolling Center

2008 Seeds for Education Grantees

  • Pringle Nature Center/Hoy Audubon Society – Bristol, Wisconsin – $500
    Continue work on establishing a native prairie within Bristol Woods County Park.
    Root River Area (WI) Chapter
  • River Ridge Elementary School – Moore, South Carolina – $500
    Planning, Planting, and Maintaining Several Butterfly Gardens and Wildlife Habitats Utilizing Native Plants
  • Daemen College – Amherst, New York– $490
    Designing and Creating an Environmental Education Area
    Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council (NY) Chapter
  • Dottywood Community Arts – Lewisburg, West Virginia – $400
    Design and Build a Native Plant Outdoor Classroom
  • Children's Association for Maximum Potential – Center Point, Texas – $400
    Expanding the Nature Center and Sensory Gardens for Children With Special Needs
  • North Shore Community School – Duluth, Minnesota – $300
    Increase the Effectiveness and Habitat of Rain Garden
    Arrowhead (MN) Chapter
  • Children's Community School – Davidson, North Carolina – $300
    Creating a Dinosaur Garden, a Butterfly Garden, an Art Garden, and more.
  • Winnemucca Community Garden – Winnemucca, Nevada – $300
    The Nevada Basin and Range Plant Demonstration Project
  • Wauwatosa West High School – Wauwatosa, Wisconsin – $300
    Establish a Savanna and Wooded Area on District Grounds
    Milwaukee-Southwest/Wehr (WI) Chapter
  • Knollwood Elementary School – Decatur, Georgia – $300
    Create a Bird Habitat/Feeding Area Using Native Plants
  • River Revitalization Foundation – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – $210
    Enhance Wildlife Habitat along the Southbranch Creek
    Milwaukee-Southwest/Wehr Chapter

2007 Seeds for Education Grantees

  • M L King Elementary School – Rockford, Illinois – $500
    Filling in the Gaps
    Rock River Valley (IL) Chapter
  • Rupert A Nock Middle School – Newburyport, Massachusetts – $500
    Courtyard Renovation Project at the Nock
  • Bolles Harbor Mathematics and Science Center – Monroe, Michigan – $500
    Native Tallgrass Prairie Species Demonstration Garden
    Ann Arbor (MI) Chapter
  • Scattergood Friends School – West Branch, Iowa – $500
    Establishment of Prairie Forbs in a Native Grass Stand
  • Northern Panhandle Conservation District – McMechen, West Virginia – $500
    Northern Panhandle Nature Learning Center
  • Washington Elementary-CUSA #100 – Belvidere, Illinois – $490
    Washington Elementary School Prairie
    Rock River Valley (IL) Chapter
  • Lake Forest Open Lands Association – Lake Forest, Illinois – $250
    Lake Forest Open Lands Earth Day Garden
    Lake-To-Prairie (IL) Chapter
  • Winfield United School #34 – Winfield, Illinois – $250
    Outdoor Native Plant Classroom Winfield Elementary
    Greater DuPage (IL) Chapter
  • Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast – Chesapeake, Virginia – $250
    The Outback Wildflower/Native Plant Garden
  • Jo Daviess Carroll AVC – Elizabeth, Illinois – $250
    Jo Daviess County Native Plant Outdoor Classroom

2006 Seeds for Education Grants Awarded

  • Green Bay Botanical Garden – Green Bay, Wisconsin – $500
    Karner Blue Butterfly Demonstration Garden
    Green Bay Chapter
  • Washington Elementary School – Marshfield, Wisconsin – $350
    Seeds for Tomorrow
    Central Wisconsin Chapter
  • King Elementary School – Rockford, Illinois – $350
    Native Gardens at King
    Rock River Valley Chapter
  • Ithaca Children's Garden – Ithaca, New York – $200
    Wetlands Ecology Education Program
  • Booker T. Washington Middle School – Newport News, Virginia – $200
    Beyond the Watershed: Eco-Garden Project.
    Partner-at-Large (The John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society will be adding another $50.)
  • Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium – Fort Myers, Florida – $200
    Calusa Nature Center Avian Garden Renovation
  • Rudolf Steiner High School – Ann Arbor, Michigan – $100
    Rudolph Steiner High School/Prairie/Oak Opening Restoration
    Ann Arbor Chapter (Wildflower Association of Michigan has also presented a grant of $1000.)
  • Pine Mountain Learning Center – Pine Mountain Club – California – $100
    Schoolyard Native Garden and Wildlife Habitat

2005 Seeds for Education Grants Awarded

  • Ferry Beach Ecology School, Saco, ME $500 Ferry Beach Ecology School Center Native Garden Project for the creation of a wild landscape right outside the front door of Ferry Beach Ecology School. (Partner-at-Large)
  • Raisin Valley Land Trust, Adrian, MI $400 Native Plant Demonstration Garden at Indian Crossing Trails Park in the City of Tecumseh. (Ann Arbor Chapter)
  • Goodwillie Environmental School, Ada, MI $400 A Student Propagated Prairie Expansion of a 1 acre prairie area along the school driveway. (Partner-at-Large)
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Cadillac, MI $400 Native Plant Songbird & Butterfly Garden Enhancement at Lincoln School Outdoor Learning Center created in 2001 with a SFE grant award. (Partner-at-Large)
  • Maharishi School, Fairfield, IA $400 Biodiversity and Native Prairie Development of 1 acre prairie restoration by middle school students in conjunction with the Maharishi University of Management. (Partner-at-Large)
  • School on the Lake, Maplewood Middle School, Menasha, WI $500 School on the Lake Butterfly Host Plant Gardens Development includes three butterfly host plant garden areas in an existing school natural area. (Fox Valley Area Chapter)
  • The Gempp Area Prairie Board, St Louis, MO $400 The Gempp Area Prairie Expansion Project intends to establish a prairie within their 13 acre wildlife sanctuary and outdoor classroom in the middle of suburban St Louis. (St. Louis Chapter)
  • Sunset Zoological Park, Manhattan, KS $500 Sunset Zoo Native Plant Gardens are adding two native plant gardens to their existing backyard habitat at the zoo. (Partner-at-Large)
  • El Monte Union High School District, El Monte, CA $500 The Best Laid Plants… Inner city high school students will be constructing five different themed gardens to illustrate various ecoregions in the area. (Partner-at-Large

2004 Award Winners

  • Barron Area Senior High, Barron, WI $400 Barron High Prairie Restoration. Restoration of a small prairie wildlife area on school grounds. (NW Wisconsin – Partner-at-Large)
  • Chestnut Park School, Savanna, IL $500 Chestnut Park School Habitat. Construction and maintenance of a nature lab consisting of Illinois native prairie, a 6 acre savanna, and a perennial butterfly garden. (NW Illinois – Partner-at-Large)
  • Etna Elementary School, Etna, CA $403 Etna Elementary Outdoor Learning Center. Establishment of a native area to use as an educational tool in teaching students hands-on outdoor science. (Northern CA – Partner-at-Large)
  • Lelanau Conservancy, Leland, MI $450 Native Wildflower Restoration at Chippewa Run Natural Area. Restoration an old agricultural field to a meadow that sustains high quality, native species. (NE Lake Michigan shoreline – Partner-at-Large)
  • Friends of the Welty Environmental Center, Beloit, WI $273 Butterfly and Bird Habitat Garden. Installation of a garden of native prairie plants with an emphasis on host plants for butterfly larvae, nectar sources for butterflies and hummingbirds, and seed sources for birds. (Central IL-WI border – Partner at Large)
  • May Whitney Elementary School, Lake Zurich, IL $500 May Whitney Elementary School Outdoor Learning Center. Transformation of the courtyard to woodland, savanna, hill prairie and tallgrass prairie ecosystems so students can learn about indigenous Illinois plants and nature. (NE Illinois – Lake-to-Prairie Chapter)
  • Ophir School, Gallatin Gateway, MT $489 Native Plant Demonstration Garden. Continuation of the development of a native plant demonstration garden on the school grounds which serves as an educational area, and will be associated with a 100 yr old restored homesteader's cabin. (South Central MT – Partner-at-Large)
  • Pewaukee High School, Pewaukee, WI $500 Pewaukee Village Park Pond Restoration. Improvement of the overall water qualify of the pond through the development of a shoreline buffer. (SE WI – Menomonee River Area Chapter)
  • Rockford College, Rockford, IL $500 Returning to our Roots. Restoration of a native prairie and establishment of a butterfly garden on the Rockford College campus to provide a variety of both formal and informal educational opportunities in disciplines across the range of the arts and sciences. (North Central IL – Rock River Valley Chapter)

2003 Award Winners

  • Audubon Vermont, Huntington, VT: $434 Wildscaping with Audubon at Home. Creating a teaching garden to model Audubon at Home guidelines at Green Mountain Audubon Center. (Partner-at-Large)
  • Barrington Middle School - Station Campus, Barrington, IL: $500 Courtyard for Creative Learning. Second year of three year plan to develop habitat to supplement and enhance the educational needs of 6-8 grade students. (Lake-To-Prairie)
  • Blue Springs South High School, Blue Springs, MO: $400 Thomas Young Park Prairie Project. Advance placement environmental science students will develop a research area in park adjacent to school. (Mid-Missouri Chapter)
  • Burley School PTA, Chicago, IL: $500 Burley School Native Plant Garden. Develop native plant garden as a tool for teaching. (North Park Village Nature Center Chapter)
  • Challenger Elementary School, Thief River Falls, MN: $475 Challenger Nature Area. Enhance wetland habitat near pond area. (Partner-at-Large)
  • Crossroads at Big Creek Historical and Environ Learning Preserve, Sturgeon Bay, WI: $400 Wetland at the Crossroads. Develop wetland garden near entrance of new John & Helen Collins Learning Center. (Door County Chapter)
  • Crown Point Ecology Center, Bath, OH: $450 Youth Greenhouse Prairie Garden. Extension of garden around newly constructed greenhouse. (Partner at Large)
  • Marshfield High School/Marshfield Science Dept, Marshfield, MO: $273 Wetlands Ecology. For use by K-12 thru college students and the general pubic, the project is designed to promote the development of a naturally forming wetlands area. (Partner-at-Large)
  • Morehead State University, Louisville, KY: $500 Conservation Design Project. As an educational opportunity for students, the community & facility planners, the project will serve 3 functions: bioretention, wildlife habitat & landscaping. (Louisville Chapter)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes School, Toledo, OH: $50 Lady of Lourdes School Meadow. Develop meadow area on the front of the school property. (Partner-at-Large)

2004 Award Winners

  • Johnson Elementary School in Milford, MI received a cash award of $300 for their Grassland Habitat project which will restore a grassland area near the school to presettlement oak savannas and openings. This is the second area at the school to be planted in native plants. (Ann Arbor Chapter)
  • Robidoux Middle School in St Joseph, MO received $195 for their project entitled "Putting down Roots" which, with the help of the students, will change the open area within the bus turnaround into a haven of native grasses and wildflowers. (Wild Rose Chapter)
  • Bagdad Elementary in Leander, TX received $150 toward their project entitled "Bagdad Courtyard Learning Environment" which will involve converting an enclosed outdoor courtyard into an outdoor learning environment filled with prairie grasses and forbs. (Partner at Large)
  • Doudna Elementary/Doudna PTO in Richland Center, WI received $400 to help establish the prairie phase of the Doudna Elementary Nature Preserve on a ½ acre site near the school. All the children will be involved in all aspects of the project. (Madison Chapter)
  • Friess Lake School in Hubertus, WI received $400 for to establish an Outdoor Classroom & Pond Area at their school on a 1 ac site which features three retention ponds and several berms. Students will do the planting and learn about prairie lowlands and their value. (Menomonee River Area Chapter)
  • Oakhill Day School of Gladstone, MO received $400 to establish an "Outdoor Discovery Classroom" featuring prairie and shade plants to offer students opportunities for hands-on applications related to the traditional classroom learning. (Mid-Missouri Chapter)
  • Velma Hamilton Middle School of Madison, WI received $300 toward their outdoor classroom which will include both prairie and woodland habitat. Currently they are inventorying existing plants in the woodlands and removing exotics. (Madison Chapter)
  • Mill Creek Elementary of Statesboro, GA received $100 toward their project entitled "Mustangs Care about Environmental Science (MCES)" which will have seven stations (one for each grade) featuring prairie and shrubs. (Partner at Large)
  • Arbor School of Arts & Sciences of Tualatin, GA received $300 toward their project entitled "Woods and Streams" which with the help of the students will restore 2.5 acres of deciduous/riparian forest and the associated Saum Creek Greenway. (Partner at Large)
  • Hughes Elementary of the Red Lake Falls Public School District 630 received a $150 cash award toward their outdoor classroom which will include a tallgrass prairie restoration/demo site. (Partner at Large)
  • Lorado Taft Field Campus of Oregon, IL received $100 to be used for their project entitled "North Field Prairie Restoration." Their team events will now be played next to a prairie. (Rock River Valley)
  • Nicolet Area Technical College located in Rhinelander, WI received $200 toward the restoration of displaced species along a newly developed path through the campus. Their project entitled "Nicolet: A Sense of Place" will feature prairie, wet mesic and shade plants. (Partner at Large)

2001 Award Winners

  • Lincoln Elementary School of Cadillac, MI for its Outdoor Teaching Center/Clam River Greenway project which will create an outdoor, interactive instructional area that will be used to provide a holistic learning environment for the children of the City of Cadillac and Wexford County about native wildflowers, grasses, wildlife and the corresponding environment.
  • Miami-Dade Community College, Kendall Campus of Miami, FL for its Joy of Natives Demonstration Landscape project. This living laboratory aims to change the way they, as a community, landscape their homes, by teaching youth, homeowners and college students about the beauty and wildlife value of native plants, and how natives can be used in small scale (town home-sized) landscapes.
  • St. Cunegunda School of Detroit, MI for its Chopin-Wagner Garden project which began in 1998. Their goal is to introduce a patch of native landscape to an urban neighborhood that hasn't seen one in nearly 100 years. This is the second SFE grant St Cunegunda has received.
  • Montessori School of Lake Forest, IL for their Wetland and Prairie Restoration project. This project will revitalize one-third acre of wetland and prairie on the schoolgrounds and create an outdoor classroom. It will incorporate these habitats into the curriculum and foster an awareness, appreciation and stewardship of nature.
  • Chance School in Louisville, KY. The purpose of their Goose Creek Meadow project is to establish an area of natural meadowland on school property which will provide outdoor classroom experiences for their students.consistent with the school's philosophy of "learning by doing."
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School of Duluth, MN for their "Bird, Butterfly and Kids Oh My!" project, which is a habitat restoration project designed to increase the amount of native wildlife in an area of the campus. Students at the school will work with graduate students from the Univ of MN Duluth Center for Environmental Educ to research, plan an implement the garden.
  • Farley Hill Elementary School in Pinckney, MI for their on-going Schoolyard Habitat Project-Native Plants.
  • UW-Whitewater in Whitewater, WI toward the establishment of their nature preserve.
  • Heckrodt Wetland Reserve of Menasha, WI for the creation of a "Teaching Prairie."
  • Amery Middle School in Amery, WI for their Prairie and Woodland Gardens project.
2000 Award Winners
  • Sunnyside Elementary School, Sobieski, WI, to revitalize a three acre prairie on the school grounds, utilize the area for classroom learning experiences for students across all content areas, and to provide the community at large a place to learn about and enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin native plants.
  • Kewaskum Middle School, Kewaskum, WI, to develop a natural setting in front of the school using native grasses and plantings, which will serve as a model for future naturalizations of the school grounds, almost encircled by the north branch of the Milwaukee river.
  • Pleasant View School, Franklin, WI, to begin a one acre prairie restoration and create an outdoor learning center, incorporate the prairie into the curriculum, and foster an awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of nature.
  • St. Peter School, Quincy, IL, for a "living laboratory" of native plants and habitats, and a native plant nursery site and seed bank.
  • Circle of Nations Therapeutic Residential School, Wahpeton, ND, for a native prairie habitat to save a nesting population of bobolinks, and other outdoor classroom areas.
  • Douglas Elementary School, Belleville, IL, to expand the schoolyard wildlife habitat which was begun in 1998.
  • Danz Elementary School, Green Bay, WI, to restore oak opening and northern mesic forest habitat on school grounds, linked to the larger Baird Creek protection corridor.
  • The following organizations received Honorable Mention awards:
  • Eberwhite Elementary School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Friends of Hawthorn Children's Psychiatric Hospital, St. Louis, MO
  • West Marion Elementary School, Loretto, KY
  • Brookfield East High School, Brookfield, WI
  • North Barrington School, Barrington, IL

    1999 Award Winners

  • The Native Garden at Green Meadow Elementary School, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was begun in May 1998. This spring they'll diversify the woodland area with transplants, complete the native grass garden, plant several trees, and share knowledge via their school's web site.
  • Their primary goal of the St. Leonard School's Prairie Restoration Project in Muskego, Wisconsin, is to help students view their own backyards as small ecosystems that can be designed to restore the land, create biological diversity, conserve natural resources, and reduce pollution caused by traditional lawn care methods. The students have already contributed to the large-scale Big Muskego Lake ecosystem restoration. In this project they'll discover it works in their own yards, too. The wet prairie restoration will serve as a demonstration site designed by eighth grade students.
  • In Detroit, Michigan, the Chopin-Wagner Garden Project is creating a native landscape for an urban vacant lot close to St. Cunegunda Elementary School. The project leader says, "Even though the ideas are preliminary, this new seed in the neighborhood and the school is causing quite a stir of excitement. People are very ready to work for something different in this community."
  • North Barrington Elementary School in Illinois is developing an interactive habitat as part of new school construction. Plans include a 3-acre prairie, a living science woodland courtyard, a pond and wetland, and interpretive trails. The school's projects will also enhance the adjacent natural resource, Barrington Bog.
  • In Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Bay View Middle School is developing a community-based environmental nature trail, winding around and through the large campus. The project will add appropriate native plant groupings, identification markers, Leopold benches, pea-gravel paths, and more.
  • Also in Green Bay, the Forest Glen Elementary School's Wildlife Nature Study and Trail Project is part of a joint long-term project with Bay View Middle School and the school district. A drainage ditch crossing the site will become a small pond and wetland with native plantings, and there will be prairie and woodland areas as well. A goal is to promote "environ-mental" awareness, with an interesting, varied, and aesthetic terrain around the school.
1997 and 1998 Award Winners

In spring, 1998, we made awards to six organizations.

  • North Elementary School (Wetland) – Sycamore, IL
  • Plymouth Comprehensive High School (Glacial Prairie) – Plymouth, WI
  • Syble Hopp School (Prairie) – De Pere, WI
  • Green Bay Botanical Garden (Woodland) – Green Bay, WI
  • Arrowhead High School (Prairie and Woodland) – Hartland, WI
  • Butterfield School (Prairie) – Libertyville, IL

In 1997, we made six grants.

  • Janet Berry School (Prairie) – Appleton, WI
  • Liberty Prairie Conservancy (Stream Bank Restoration) – Libertyville, IL
  • Blossom Home Preschool (Wet Meadow) – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Lincoln School (Prairie) – De Pere, WI
  • Wequiock School (Woodland) – Green Bay, WI
  • Christa McAuliffe School (Observation Module) – Green Bay, Wisconsin

Information for Schoolyard and Other Youth Projects

Minnesota's School Nature Area Project works as a partner with schools and communities, using local nature areas to further environmental education and benefit the environment through grants, training, and resource support.

The Young Entomologists Society has lots of insect and spider information from a kid's viewpoint.

Paul Opler's butterfly site for kids has a wealth of information.

Doug Jones has instructions for making paper from bluestem straw, an interesting kid's project.

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Updated: Sep 12, 2011.