Students at Trenton High School in Northwest Missouri recently added a native plant garden to their campus.
Members of the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter organized the planting in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation and Quail Forever.
Native wildflowers and grasses can provide beauty and benefit pollinator insects such as bees and butterflies.
Bill Graham, conservation department media specialist, said students prepared for the planting at the school’s H. Frank Hoffman Building, which serves the school’s vocational agriculture program.
He said junior and senior students in the school’s conservation class and freshman students in the Ag Science 1 class planted 125 plants on Oct. 22.
More than 30 native species were included, such as grasses like Little Bluestem to wildflowers such as Prairie Blazing Star and Showy Goldenrod.
He said these plants not only benefit pollinator insects but across the landscape they also attract quail and deer.
Nate Mechlin, conservation department private land conservationist, said they were striving for a plan that would have several different species blooming from early spring and through the summer into late fall.
The conservation department purchased the plant seedlings, and staff helped Trenton High School teacher Sadie Roy plan the garden layout.
Quail Forever staff donated Indian grass and helped with planting instructions. Students did the planting and will maintain the beds when plants begin to grow in the spring.
The planting also will become an educational aid as some of the grass species are used in the FFA Grassland Evaluation competitions.
For more information about using native plants in home or business landscaping gardens, contact your local USDA office or conservation department agent.