East Aurora School District 131 recently received two grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program.
Two schools each received $1,000 to develop a native habitat garden to be used for educational purposes.
One grant was awarded to East High, where science teacher Karie Nash is managing the grant project. The garden was installed by students and teachers on May 10 in a courtyard located in the northeast corner of the school.
The second grant was awarded to Cowherd Middle School, where science teacher Cathy Evans managed the project. Their planting day took place on May 31.
“The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program provides children and educators with an opportunity to develop wildlife habitat and increase the use of native plants in Illinois landscapes,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “By participating in these projects, students learn that their efforts can make a difference in the world, and they gain experience in problem-based learning by planning, developing and maintaining the habitat.”
"The habitat garden really supports our curriculum in a lot of ways," said Evans. "The kids study cycles of matter and energy, interactions between organisms, there are so many things we can do."