Our goal is to collaborate with the Roots & Shoots Chapter at Pizzo Elementary School to create a pollinator garden on the Pizzo campus. We hope the establishment of this garden will enhance the students' presently limited interaction with nature and science, introduce young students to STEM fields, and foster a sense of environmental stewardship. This garden will be carefully designed to attract many of Florida's native pollinators and provide them with a nutrient-rich habitat.
To create the pollinator garden, we must first clean up the project site, a courtyard "reading garden" that is currently in disarray. University students will hold a series of educational lessons and activities in the kindergarten class at Pizzo Elementary, to explain the importance of pollinators and give the students a sense of ownership of their project. During one such activity, we will help the students choose plants that will be attractive to many native pollinators in Florida.
In early spring, we will have a planting day and celebration with the students as we plant the garden together. Hands-on educational activities both in the classroom and more importantly in the garden will continue once the garden has been established.
We have obtained funding from USF's College of Arts & Sciences, and intend to complete the creation of the pollinator garden in Spring 2015.