As students grow milkweed, sunflowers, asters, parsley and other native plants at six schools in Florida, the gardens will help more than the pollinators that depend on the plants for survival. Without bees, butterflies and other insects, humans won’t survive either. It’s a lesson teachers hope students in Volusia County take with them for life. A student at Galaxy Middle School. “We have to keep pollinators alive or we won’t live,” said Louise Chapman, environmental/STEM resource teacher. “Having pollinator corridors in protected areas will be wonderful.” The gardens, funded by a grant from Duke Energy, are a chance for students in east-central Florida to literally get their hands dirty. “We want the students to learn how the natural systems work – that everything goes together,” said Stephen Kintner, retired environmental management director for Volusia County and a volunteer at Lyonia Environmental Center in Deltona. “And we want them to learn respect for the outdoors and wildlife.” Chapman and Kintner have been teaching about the interdependence of native plants and pollinators for years. Most flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce, and those plants make up about a third of the food that humans eat. But when lands are clear-cut […]

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