Pollinator garden design by Abby Johnson, Delaney Turner, Jackson Blue, and Alayna Nelson.
Seventh-grade students from Indian Hills Junior High School are on a mission to stop pollinator decline. The students collaborated to design gardens that support pollinators, all while learning about ecosystems. Other students wrote persuasive essays informing the community about pollinators and their importance. Both Clive Living Magazine and iowalivingmagazines.com. published essays and garden plans by Indian Hills students in June.
Learn about helping pollinators from these West Des Moines Community Schools students here on our website, in Clive Living Magazine, or at iowalivingmagazines.com.
Well first, what are pollinators? Pollinators are insects that move pollen from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant. This helps fertilize the flower in order to make seeds to plant with. Now that that’s out of the way, you might ask, “But why are pollinators important?” Glad you asked, my friend. We need pollinators to help keep the earth alive, without them most of the food that we eat would even exist anymore. Pollinating over 90% of the food that we eat, pollinators such as, bees, butterflies, bats, and hummingbirds, have a large role to play in the economy. Your favorite fruits such as apples, mangoes, peaches, plums, strawberries, and even avocados! Now, what are we going to do without our beloved avocado toast?!
That’s why I believe that we need to take action. As a community, we can make a big impact and help do our part to save the ones that help save our food! In your community, you could do something as simple as plant one flower to help. When an entire community puts in even a little effort, it magnifies all the little things by a lot. You could do some research on different host and nectar plants that are native to your area, and plant them even in a small pot. Some of the best plants to have in your garden would be:
Milkweed. Milkweed is a good nesting site for butterflies to put their young until they are ready to hatch. They also provide a food source for them.
Bee Balm. Bee balm is also a host plant. Although not as good as milkweed, bee balm can house the eggs of other pollinators while still give nectar.
Lavender. Lavender is beneficial to both you and pollinators! The strong sweet aroma may bring pleasure to you and your family, it drives away ants and mosquitos while still being good for the insects that you want in your garden.
In conclusion, if we all come together as one and put even a little bit of effort, it can go a long way. Something as easy as planting a single flower may seem like nothing, but when everyone in a whole community plants a single flower it makes a difference. So grab your shovels and your watering cans and let’s get to saving our planet!
Pollinator garden design by Roy Barron, Maryellen Lerg, Kathryn Schultz, and Jenna Howe.
Pollinator garden design by Rose Sultan, Abby Lackey, Audrey Tanner, and Ashlyn Truman.
Pollinator garden design by Lillian Tuai, Litzi Hernandez-Ponce, Raechel Gradford, and Vikas Herdt.
Many West Des Moines Community Schools athletic teams are known for their skills and successes, but few have seen such rapid growth as the Tiger Archery Club. With more than 300 members less than 10 years after its creation, the club has experienced both popularity and competitive success.
Seventh-grade Humanities learners from Indian Hills Junior High’s Project-Based Learning Network pathway have been learning about compassion and empathy in the community for several weeks. Teams of students have worked to become experts on populations in need in the community and volunteered with a huge variety of community organizations. Now, the students are hosting an Empathy and Compassion Awareness Convention at Valley West Mall on Jan. 29.
The students started with a problem statement:
How do we, as active members of our society, show compassion and empathy to raise awareness for marginalized groups so we can serve, inform, and persuade to make a difference in our community?
To best serve those populations, students did research and collected data before volunteering with organizations like Urban Bicycle, Blank Children’s Hospital, and the Iowa Homeless Youth Center. Now, they will work to inform and persuade the public about each group. The presentations will help the community learn and understand more about each group.
Join these Indian Hills learners as they present their findings at the Empathy and Compassion Awareness Convention, Valley West Mall, 3-7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 29.
Special thanks to the following organizations where students volunteered during this project: