Students learn power of native plants

When spring comes back to Kalamazoo students at the Kazoo School will be able to see the results of the work they did on a cold day in December.
In a project that brought together the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, 4-H, and Kazoo School, in December students participated in a daylong event. Community service, environmental education, and hands on learning were all part of the day. 
Students from preschool through eighth grade participated by planting bare root plants that will be stored at the Riverview Launch site over the winter. They will be dormant over the winter months  and planted once mature in the spring.  
Mike Holmes from Naylor Landscape Management talked to the students about the importance of native plantings, including pollination, soil stabilization and habitat restoration.  
Mike DeDitius from the Land Bank spoke to the children about how a community can transform a vacant structure when they come together and the importance of volunteerism and community service.  
Evan Granito from 4-H spoke about using the 4 H’s, head, heart, hands, and health to get the project done in a way in which students learn many lessons.
"Environmental sustainability is central to the experience at Kazoo School," says Brendan Sheerin, Principal of the Kazoo School, "and we welcomed this opportunity to work with Kalamazoo County Land Bank and 4-H on this important Community Project."
The Land Bank is looking forward to other such partnerships around youth programming at the site. 
"This early effort demonstrates the potential for the community to come together and make positive changes in our community while also providing valuable learning opportunities,” says Kelly Clarke, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Land Bank. 
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media 
Source: Kelly Clark, Kalamazoo Land Bank
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