For the fifth year in a row, the New Richmond High School plant science students are planting wild lupine and sideoats grama to trying and help rebuild the prairie lands around the area as part of the schools Service Learning Day.
“We are hoping to bring back or see an increase in the population of Karner Blue Butterflies,” Sauvola said. “It is really awesome that our seeds grew as well as they did. We did one thing differently this year, which was to use the inoculant with the seeds. We had four trays that we are germinating this year, but we could have easily had eight to 10 with how well everything grew.”
On April 1, a dozen or so community volunteers came in to help transplant thousands of wild lupine from 7:30 a.m. to noon.
“The reason the community members were invited in was because we just had far more plants to transplant by themselves,” Sauvola said. “It would take us days and days to do the work that the community folks did today.”
In the end, Sauvola said the project will have between 10,000 and 15,000 plants that will be put back into the native prairie. The project also saw the plant science classes plant sideoats grama seeds many of which the students harvested from the very first sideoats grama seeds past students planted during the first year of the project.
The plants that the classes and community volunteers worked on transplanting will be planted back in the wild on Service Learning Day on May 15. Anywhere from 30 to 40 kids will go out to the prairie with Sauvola and plant the wild lupine and sideoats grama to help bring back the prairie.
“We’d also like to credit the middle school greenhouse folks and Mallory Deziel because they will be watering some of the plants we just planted for us,” Sauvola said. “We had to take two bus loads of them since there were so many and we ran out of room here at the high school.”
The high school will also hold its annual plant sale once again this year, with the community’s first chance to pick up their flowers and vegetables from the high school students coming on April 22 at the Westfields Hospital & Clinic’s Earth Day Market from 2 to 5 p.m.
“Westfields Hospital & Clinic, along with Randy Calleja generously purchased our seeds to plant in the greenhouse for our spring plant sale again,” Sauvola said. “We are going to sell some at the Earth Day Market. So if people want to get a jumpstart on their planting they can grab those from us.”
The morning of April 22 will see Sauvola, along with high school and fifth-grade students, planting trees at four to seven different sites around New Richmond to celebrate Earth Day.
The high school will also have plant sale days throughout the spring during the evening and on the weekends. The dates aren’t set yet, but announcements will be made via group emails from Sauvola as to when the plant sales will happen. If community members wish to get on the email list, they can email Sauvola at email@example.com and ask to be put on the list. Those interested in the plant sale can also watch the school district website (newrichmond.k12.wi.us) for announcements on the dates and times as well.
“All proceeds from our plant sales go to more soil, more plants and more learning opportunities for students in the plant science area,” Sauvola said. “So we really appreciate the community considering us as a source.”
According to Sauvola, each plant is generally $2 a piece, including more than 15 varieties of tomatoes; ghost, jalapeno and green peppers; eggplant; broccoli, cauliflower, kale and lettuce. There will also be a large selection of annual flowers, both in hanging baskets and in individual plants.
For more information on any of the sales or the Service Learning Day project, contact Rachel Sauvola at firstname.lastname@example.org.