CONCORD, NH – The Schoolyard Action Grant Team has awarded over $16,000 in small grants to schools throughout the Granite State. The selected institutions are working on outdoor classrooms, habitat areas, and pollinator gardens.
This years’ grant awards support a mix of projects including the Beech Hill School in Hopkinton which will use funding for plantings to create a riparian buffer, Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston which plans to establish a native pollinator habitat area, and Clark Elementary School in Amherst which will utilize funds to create an outdoor classroom which will include a pollinator garden and a bird sanctuary.
“All awardees demonstrated how their outdoor spaces would be used to enhance student learning as well as improve local wildlife habitat. We are excited to work with these schools over the next couple of years and look forward to seeing their end products,” said Ted Kendziora of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Schoolyard Action Grant Partnership Team is made up of members from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the US Fish and Wildlife Service New England Field Office, New Hampshire Project Learning Tree, and New Hampshire Audubon. The partnership combines individual funding which comes from different sources with common focuses including encouraging native plantings, establishing wildlife habitat areas, and encouraging outdoor learning at schools. The team has also placed an emphasis on pollinators, especially the Monarch butterfly. Schools are encouraged to develop milkweed and other wildflower habitat plantings, register their habitats as Monarch waystations, and use the habitats for school citizen- science projects. Funding for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s participation came from a grant awarded by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire.
Schools will have two years to complete their projects with flexibility included in most timelines to account for the current COVID-19 public health emergency in the state and its effect on Granite State schools.
The schools awarded small grants this year include:
The Beech Hill School, Hopkinton
Blue Heron School at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, Holderness
Child Development Center at Keene State College, Keene
Clark Elementary, Amherst
East Derry Memorial Elementary School, Derry
Francestown Elementary School, Francestown
Garrison Elementary School, Dover
Great Brook Middle School, Antrim
Merrimack Valley Middle School, Penacook
Pittsfield School, Pittsfield
Sanborn Regional High School, Kingston
Somersworth Middle School, Somersworth