Posted by: csdailyblog | May 28, 2011

Conserve School Holds Community Stewardship Day

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Every semester Conserve School holds a Community Stewardship Day, during which we help out around the Land O’ Lakes and Eagle River communities. A few weeks ago, students and staff fanned out to several local destinations: to the Land O’Lakes Community Garden, to help with preparing beds; to our stretch of Highway 45, to pick up the litter that the receding snow has uncovered; to the Northwoods Children’s Museum, to help with preparing exhibits; to private property in Phelps, to help remove invasive garlic mustard; and to the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point’s Treehaven Environmental Learning Center garden, to help with spring clean-up there, too.

Rod Sharka, a local Nature Conservancy volunteer and retired science teacher, arranged the garlic pull, where our students worked alongside students from Phelps High School. Rod sent this note after the garlic pull:

Thanks to all of your students and staff for the great job they did on the Phelps Garlic Mustard patch today. I told them all that whatever number of community service points all of the other teams get today, the group you sent me should get double.

Our own community garden got a little help, too, late in the afternoon when groups returned from their work. In the photos, you can see Conserve School students planting foxgloves here and there on campus. Students grew the plants from seeds in their science classes. While foxglove isn’t a native plant, it’s not invasive in this area. Because it is a self-seeding biennial, it tends not to persist in our woods and just pops up here and there on campus every once in a while. It has charming spires of white, pink, and lavender bell-shaped flowers, with deep purple markings, and bees and hummingbirds love them. I’ve been dive-bombed a number of times by hummingbirds clustered around foxgloves in our community garden.

Students returned from their Exploration Week trips hale and hearty today and full of tales. Photos of their trips will be appearing soon.

Mary Anna

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