USD 231

During a typical school year, Aaron Batterbee, a biology teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School, took Field Biology classes on field trips to work with the community on projects such as water testing in the Hillsdale Lake Watershed and biodiversity studies at Big Bull Creek Park.

As a result of the pandemic, Mr. Batterbee and his students had to think creatively about what could be accomplished on the high school campus. One of the projects that has flourished is the building of a pollinator garden.

To accomplish this project, the classes enlisted help from the school district and community. Chris Cardwell, an Urban Conservationist with the Miami County Conservation District, assisted tremendously in creating a plan and putting that plan into motion, including funding and execution of the project.

Located on the north side of the Advanced Technical Center on the campus of GEHS (along Madison Street), the garden is around 1,000 square feet in size. Currently, the garden is about 80 percent completed. Students in the Field Biology classes, GEHS science teacher Robert Barnhill and Chris Cardwell have planted 18 species of grasses and wildflowers that total around 900 plants.

The garden has been designed so that different wildflowers will bloom in spring, summer, and fall of 2022….and many years to come. This garden will be a great attraction to pollinators and provide excellent learning opportunities for teachers and students of all grade levels - now and in the future!