FUNDING GOAL: $17,747 BY MARCH 11, 2019 PROJECT GOAL: PLANT 5 ACRES OF POLLINATOR HABITAT FUNDING PRIORITY: PURCHASE WILDFLOWER SEED & PLANTS. PROJECT PRIORITY: EDUCATE CHILDREN REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE OF POLLINATORS TO AGRICULTURE IN KANSAS.
TIMING IS CRITICAL DUE TO DECLINING POPULATIONS OF THREE PRIMARY POLLINATORS. TO ATTAIN OUR GOAL, WE WILL BEGIN TO PLANT AND MONITOR 5 ACRES OF NATIVE WILDFLOWER HABITAT IN KANSAS DURING APRIL AND MAY 2019.
CURRENT DATA: Time is of the essence. Research and Data during 2018 indicate that the overall populations of major pollinators, including Monarchs, Bees, and Hummingbirds, have declined rapidly. Habitat loss, disease, parasites, and environmental contaminants have contributed to the decline of many species of pollinators.
SPECIFIC ROOT CAUSES OF RAPID DECLINE IN POLLINATORS A. Climate Change including global warming and violent storms. As a result, significant changes have occurred in the pollinators' migration patterns, routes, and timing. B. Loss of nesting and food habitat due to herbicides. Milkweed is the single food source for Monarch caterpillars. C. Development and road construction disturbs natural habitats D. Bee Colony Collapse E. Increased pesticide use due to low-till Agricultural methods F. Removal of natural habitats makes it difficult to stabilize hives G. Natural disasters such as forest fires and floods
STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS These amazing students are children ages 6 through 12, and are comprised of students from two schools. Project will also provide summer employment for two student teachers.
School 1: These children attend a Boys and Girls summer program in a metro school. Teachers and Administration are supportive. The children have participated in planting, weeding, watering and eating the produce from their vegetable garden for several years!
School #2. These children attend school in a rural county that is dependent on an agricultural economy. Average annual family income is $48,570. All children will benefit from the education, fresh air, fellowship, and exercise!
A. WILDFLOWER SEEDS AND PLANTS: $6,747 OR 38% OF THE BUDGET. Seeding represents the primary expense. It is critical to purchase quality see to ensure germination!! TIME-FRAME TO ORDER WILDFLOWER SEED IS FEBRUARY 2019. PURCHASE COST OF THE WILDFLOWER SEED, MILKWEED PLANTS, WILL BE PLANTED USING THE PATENTED THE ECO-FRIENDLY DEVICE. FARMERS ARE DONATING LABOR AND TILLAGE.
B. EDUCATION: $3,000 OR 17% STUDENT MATERIALS, FIELD TRIPS, AND COST FOR STUDENT TEACHERS COMPRISES THIS PORTION OF THE FUNDING. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR VOLUNTEERS, INCLUDING LOCAL FARMERS, RETIRED TEACHERS, AND MASTER GARDENERS.
C. TECHNOLOGY: $6,000 or 34% OF BUDGET. ONE TIME COSTS FOR TECHNOLOGY ARE NEEDED FOR THE PURCHASE OF TWO DIGITAL CAMERAS TO CAPTURE STILL SHOTS AND TO CREATE VIDEOS FOR CLASSWORK. STUDENTS WILL PROVIDE EDUCATION IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES. GAME CAMERAS WILL BE NEEDED TO MONITOR THE HABITAT, POLLINATOR ACTIVITY AND/OR POTENTIAL THREATS. ELECTRONIC TABLETS WILL BE PURCHASED FOR THE USE OF PARTICIPATING STUDENTS FOR RESEARCH, DOCUMENTATION, AND PREPARATION OF PRESENTATIONS TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC. TESTING DEVICES FOR TEMPERATURE, MOISTURE, AND SOILS MAY BE NEEDED.
D. OVERHEAD: $2,000 OR 11% OF BUDGET. FUNDING WILL BE USED FOR OVERHEAD SUCH AS LIABILITY INSURANCE, PATENT PROCESS FOR THE SEED PLANTING DEVICE, AND TRAVEL EXPENSE FOR THE CHILDREN'S SPEAKING TOURS AND FIELD TRIPS.
THANK YOU!! TO ALL THE FINANCIAL DONORS IN ADVANCE! WE STRIVE TO ENGAGE STUDENTS IN "HANDS ON" EXPERIENCES AS THE CHILDREN BRAINSTORM FOR SOLUTIONS TO THE DECLINING NUMBER OF THESE CRUCIAL POLLINATORS.
DONATION OF LAND FOR TEST PLOTS: Compatible land has been procured and will be DONATED TO THE CAUSE. A test plot of both annual and perennial wildflowers will be seeded in a native prairie meadow in April and May of 2019. Annual wildflowers will provide a food source for butterflies, native bees and hummingbirds the first year. Perennials, specifically native milkweed for Monarchs, will be established and blooming by year two.
Funds raised, less GoFundMe processing fees, will be transferred to a segregated account and used to carry out the mission, purpose, and objectives of this request.
EDUCATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION - YEAR (1) 2019
1. INTRODUCE STUDENTS TO THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS.
Students will research and document the Pollinator's historical migration patterns, climate, and data regarding food and nesting sources, specifically native Milkweed. The Monarch caterpillar's only food source is this plant.
a. Research the impact to pollinators due to of loss of habitat b. Understand the importance of Pollinators to the Ag economy c. Estimate the cost/benefit of the use of pesticides in farming d. Document the root cause of diminishing pollinators by region e. Brainstorm a Pollinator Eco-Friendly patent
PLANT 5 ACRES OF POLLINATOR HABITAT DURING APRIL 2019. a. Determine the wildflower type to be used for each habitat acreage b. Test soil, moisture, climate, migration patterns for each habitat c. Assess the benefits of the patented method used for planting d. Compare germination and bloom of annual wildflowers e. Collaborate with local agricultural producers for solutions or alternative to (1) reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides, and (2) incorporate pollinator friendly cover crops.
EDUCATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION YEAR (2) 2020 a. Validate the results of the (3) test plots b. Document year (2) perennial bloom percentages c. Compare the populations of pollinators in year 2019 to 2020 d. Observe the species changes or timing of migration e. Replicate the wildflower habitat program in 2 more schools
COLLABORATE a. Share awareness of Pollinator Habitat in schools and community b. Enlighten civic groups of the Pollinator project in Kansas c. Produce media (U-Tube) of the chronological steps in the project d. Write and edit an article for Mother Earth Publication e. Open forum with Agricultural producers regarding pesticides and herbicides
FIELD TRIPS Children will take field trips to the Nature Centers. The experience will provide opportunities for the students to observe plants, animals, insects, and reptiles in an environment that replicates their habitat.
"CLASSROOM" IN THE KANSAS TEST PLOTS provides hands-on study of typical classroom subjects: Geography: Regional trends in the Pollinators migration patterns Botany: Explore and identify wildflower species in the habitats Horticulture: Plant, monitor, and care for wildflowers in the habitats Mathematics: Calculate moisture, temperature, germination, and blooming Environmental: Determine impact of pesticides, polluted water, or air quality to Pollinators and the habitat Habitat Availability: Determine the root cause of diminished habitat acreage in Kansas Climate/Global Warming: Impact of violent weather to Pollinators Natural Disasters: Impact of wildflowers or floods to Pollinators
POLLINATORS' SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD CROPS Three-fourths of the world's flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world's food crops depend on pollinators to reproduce. Humans rely on bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and insects. More than 3,500 species of native bees help ensure crop yields.
PLANTING METHODOLOGY A strategic mix of wildflower seed will be planted on one acre of native meadow grass. Milkweed and wildflower species chosen for the plot are adapted to the region. A deer resistant seed mix will be used within a defined area for testing purposes. This plot is atypical due to a live stream on the property.
Native seed will be purchased in bulk from a reputable source to ensure optimum germination. Focus will be native Milkweed for Monarchs, supplemented by an annual mix of wildflowers preferred by native bees and hummingbirds.
TEST PLOT LOCATION AND HISTORY The 2019 controlled plot is located in the High Plains region of northwest Kansas. A combination of annual and perennial wildflower seed will be planted in a 1 acre test plot. Using an annual mix of wildflowers will ensure emerging blooms for Pollinators in Year 1.
The meadow was pastured native grass (Buffalo) for 102 years and native wildflowers were prolific. However, the owner began grazing horses, and mowed the perimeter for 30 years. Pollinator habitat was destroyed. Sadly, no wildflowers have emerged during the seven years since grazing ceased. Damage to the native bee habitat occurred recently when an adjacent alfalfa hay field was eliminated due to necessary crop rotation.
MONITORING Observation of all known and/or emerging aspects of the plot's eco-system will be documented. Soil and moisture samples will be obtained prior to planting and systematically during 2019. Water samples from the live stream will be tested prior to planting.
HABITAT DAMAGE MONITORING Damage to the habitat may be the result of flood or fires, violent storms, heat thermals, wind, pests, predators, human encroachment, or deer damage.
The test plot will be monitored by game cameras, still photography, and visual observation. The impact due to over-spray of chemicals, herbicide, fertilizer, and pesticides, if applied by aerial sprayers, will be verified by logbook.