Planting for pollinators

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - It might seem odd to start planning a garden now, in the middle of harvest season, but for a group of third graders in Bismarck it was the buzz today.

Usually, kids are taught not to throw. But on Thursday it was encouraged. “We learned how to pollinate as humans instead of bugs,” said one of the Dorothy Moses third graders.

To tap into the students’ minds on how pollinators affect them, Pheasants Forever had stations set up on South Washington in Bismarck. One showed what pizza would look like without pollinators. “It’s important to make that connection especially in communities where we’re not in a rural area where they have firsthand exposure to the habitat,” said Renee Tomala Pheasants Forever field representative.

The three classes of Dorothy Moses third graders were blooming with questions. And they learned a lot. “So we can have more food to feed people and they don’t have to starve,” said one Dorothy Moses third grader. “My favorite part was to plant and to make these butterflies,” said another Dorothy Moses third grader. The pollinator habitat they’re creating is located behind Running’s on south Washington. The one-acre wide garden is the first project like this with students in Bismarck. “Come back and watch this grow and the benefits it has right here in their local community,” said Tomala.

They planted a mixture of 25 to 30 different grasses and flowers. The variety ensures something will always be blooming for pollinators all throughout the summer. “Actually I liked all of it, I liked all of it. I liked everything,” said a third Dorothy Moses third grader. The space will be used for more education opportunities such as bug and plant identification.

There are plans to build bee, bat and bird houses in the habitat next year.