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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Lincoln Southwest High School, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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Lincoln Southwest High School, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
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Registered: December 2019
City/Town/Province: Lincoln
Posts: 1
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DreamWorks Animation's masterpiece, "Bee Movie", once said, "According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway." When I started planning the pollinator garden, my peers and I didn't know if our dreams would ever take flight. Yet, through persistence and passion, we achieved success.
It all began as a vision; a garden flourishing with native plants nourishing pollinators. It is a piece of land dedicated to restoring the native insect population that gives so much to us, yet suffers because of our greed, a place where passionate students can witness firsthand the effects of their ecological contributions, and a place where the local community can flock to learn about and experience the natural world around them.
The idea became a reality when the Nebraska Wildlife Federation awarded my high school a grant to convert a ten foot by twelve foot patch of land into a garden. Through my newly founded club, Hive Helpers, I was able to gather and lead students in establishing a garden. The garden lies on school grounds and maintains its status as a National Wildlife Foundation certified garden. Therefore, it abides by the certification requirements- sustainable practices, cover, food, water, and places to raise young. From eliminating the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to strictly incorporating native plants, and ensuring organisms have ample shrubs, streams, as well as pollen to survive, we are benefitting the lives of various organisms extensively and responsibly, because at Hive Helpers, "we constantly strive to improve every aspect of bee existence"(Bee Movie).
Throughout my two years working with the garden, I have experienced the complexities and demands of completing a large project. Earning a grant from the Nebraska Wildlife Federation was only the first step, requiring several meetings with the federation's Pollinator Project Director, along with a day long orientation over the details of our garden's inhabitants. My enthusiasm and prompt responses to requests convinced the Federation that their money and attention would be best invested in myself and my peers. With the grant acquired, I was immersed in work- organizing fundraisers to cover extra costs, reviving a greenhouse, germinating seeds, researching plant species, and designing the garden layout. I believe Barry B. Benson expresses this best when he says, "most bee jobs are small ones. But bees know that every small job, if it's done well, means a lot" (Bee Movie). All my little tasks grew until, finally, in February of 2019, I was standing behind my school, shovel in hand, ready to break ground.
That day, my peers and I huddled in our jackets and gloves strenuously hacking away dead grasses to uncover dirt. Each of us were elated to finally see physical results of our work. With each meeting we made progress- planting, then weeding and watering- until our vision became reality.
Today I stand in the garden as swallowtails and bumble bees soar by, and as I admire the flowers, I recall all of the passion I poured into this land. Memories of meetings, receiving the grant, and every step along the way flash before my eyes. Without my dedication and passion, the vision would still be just a vision, but "the bee, of course, flies anyway" (Bee Movie).
Date: December 23, 2019 Views: 3130 File size: 24.1kb, 265.2kb : 773 x 581
Hours Volunteered: 275
Volunteers: 11
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 10 to 56
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): .00111484
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