Pollinator Garden Installed at Sanctuary

garden-2.jpgTwo faculty members at Central Methodist University are spearheading a community garden installation at Central’s Besgrove Hodge Nature Sanctuary. When finished, the garden will not only serve as a pollinator garden, but also a place for school groups and others who may benefit.

Dr. Dana Morris, director of the Stephens Museum of Natural History, is working alongside Dr. Elizabeth Gold, a psychology professor, to create the experience. They already have received three small grants, most recently one from the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

They are creating a 700-square foot handicap accessible pollinator garden, with the help of quite a few students from Central’s Psychology Club, Environmental Science Club, and the Biodiversity class. After prepping the site, approximately 30 students showed up to help plant on Thursday.

“We had so many students show up to help I could barely keep up with them,” said Morris. “They weren’t looking for extra credit, they were just interested in the project.”

The group planted a variety of native Missouri plants that will appeal to pollinators, and also to visitors who might benefit from the aroma, texture, and overall experience.

“We’re planning to reach out to a couple of organizations to set up field trips,” Morris said. “It’s not very impressive to look at right now, but I think it is going to be something special to experience.”

Morris and Gold still have some of the grant money left, and they plan on purchasing some outdoor interpretive panels with QR codes to help “tell the story” of the native plants.

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