Habitat #1: Roosevelt Middle School

We are thrilled to launch our community wildlife habitat certification project with a plot at Roosevelt Middle School. The site of previous native, ornamental, and edible gardening efforts, the site has the advantages of being centrally located within the Village, highly visible to students and residents, and accessible to students and teachers for educational purposes.

Most important, the space holds promise as a suitable habitat for invertebrates, birds, and the native flora that supports these and other organisms. Although it is highly visible and is passed by hundreds of people on a daily basis, it is also just sheltered enough to provide food, cover, water, and shelter for a range of organisms.

Habitat garden at Roosevelt Middle School after a year of pandemic and quarantine. This area has a base of sedges and will host spring-blooming plants for native pollinators. A bird box has been approved for installation in this corner.

After a year of pandemic, the area was full of invasive species such as Canada Thistle/Cirsium arvense, Reed Canary Grass/Phalaris arundinacea, and Dandelion/Taraxacum spp. With the energetic help of successive periods of 7th Grade science class, we were able to remove a massive amount of vegetation and reveal the original, lovely sedge meadow that now awaits a range of new, native plantings.

This narrow strip receives full sun and is already home to several classic species of native prairie plants, such as Common milkweed/Asclepias syriaca , Joe Pye Weed/Eutrochium purpureum, and several species of Black-eyed susans/Rudbekia spp. Visible in the rear corner is a thick stand of Reed canary grass that was enthusiastically removed by one of the 7th grade science teams.

An east wall is already home to a number of natives and will receive more. Bordering and buffering the strip is a suite of raised beds for traditional gardening, including one memorial garden maintained by Roosevelt students and staff.

Garden vegetables have already been added to the beds, and the memorial garden (lower left) has been tidied and refreshed. Two small water basins have been added to the sedge meadow, as well as a first batch of new plantings. More should be in the ground within a week!

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