College Students + Elementary Students = Learning About Prairies

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog. Today’s topic is “sustainability” or doing for yourself and making it last. We practice sustainability by growing produce, harvesting and preserving some of it for future meals. Some add compost to the garden soil to improve soil for years to come. Some cover garden soil with mulch so less tilling is required next year.

This looking ahead is part of sustainability. In the study of sustainability, cross discipline courses are often taught to help students understand sustainability. Today’s story is about university students helping elementary students learn about prairies being restored near their community.

Sustainability program at University of South Dakota, under the direction of Dr. Meghann Jarchow enabled university students to help elementary students learn about prairies and efforts to restore them. Students were able to apply what they had learned in a project to help restoration in some way.

University students studied aspects of prairie restoration and then shared what they learned through activities with Jolley Elementary students on a fieldtrip they led. Semester-long project progressed toward the day of the fieldtrip when nature stepped in.

USD sustainability student Alexa Kruse shows Jolley Elementary 4th graders common animals of the prairie, such as this turtle.

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USD sustainability student Cody Sack shows elementary students how to made seed mud balls to plant wildflowers.

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Here’s the article that appeared in the Yankton Press & Dakotan on May 24, 2016:

http://www.yankton.net/community/article_71c05ec4-2160-11e6-9114-433a26d38a05.html

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