AP environmental science sets goal for transforming lawns to native pollinators

The AP environmental science class has a project to spread more prairie across the community.  “My goal is to inform people about how they can plant a native pollinator garden,” AP environmental science teacher Jason Lang said. 

Their goal is for the community to reduce the size of their lawns and replace them with native prairie plots. Informing people about the native species of Iowa along with spreading it and creating small prairies has many benefits, according to Lang. 

“There are three main benefits of replacing a lawn with native prairie species. The first is that it will provide habitat and food for pollinator species in our environment. The second is that it will reduce the amount of lawn in our yard, which also reduces the amount of chemicals, fertilizers and water that we put onto the lawns. The last is only applicable for some people as some people believe that native prairie flowers are more aesthetically pleasing than green lawn,” Lang said.  

As more native plant species are available to pollinators, the population of pollinators will increase, leading to better crop yields as they pollinate more.  

“The more pollinator habitat we provide, the better the pollinator species will do, so no matter how small a pollinator garden is, if we have a community wide effort, the amount of habitat could actually be quite large,” Lang said.  

The AP environmental science class will not be able to start planting and promoting native species this school year. “Unfortunately the time for pollinator seed in bare soil has probably passed and people will have to look ahead to next fall or early spring to frost seed those native pollinator species, but if someone is willing to buy live plants, now is the time to carve out a plot and get those plants into the ground,” Lang said.

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