At Baker Elementary School in San Jose, a first-grade teacher dreamed of transforming a bare plot of land outside her classroom into a thriving pollinator garden that would?provide hands-on outdoor curriculum for multiple grade levels. Thanks to a grant from Happy Hollow Foundation’s Progress for Pollinators program — as well as help from students, their families and the community — her dream is going to come true.??
“I visualize a space for students to breathe, to learn about the world that surrounds them, to learn to appreciate all things living, whether big or small,” said Cindy Van Hoy, who has taught at Baker for 24 years. “I hope for students to watch a seed transform into something magical … for young and old alike to give back to the community by overseeing this part of their world.”??
Progress for Pollinators, a program presented in partnership with Happy Hollow Park & Zoo,?supports community members who want to create pollinator-friendly habitats in Santa Clara County. It is funded by?Happy Hollow’s Quarters for Conservation program, which devotes 25 cents of every ticket sold and $1 of every membership purchased to the conservation of wildlife and their habitats. Baker?Elementary?is among three groups that were selected to receive a grant this spring, with a total of $6,800 awarded.??
Also receiving Progress for Pollinators funds, a member of Scouts BSA Troop 577 will complete an Eagle Scout Project by restoring the apiary at History Park. A bee enthusiast and backyard beekeeper since the age of seven, he will lead an effort to refurbish and build hive boxes, repaint fences surrounding the apiary, plant pollinator-friendly plants and add educational signage with help from his troop and volunteers.?
Finally, Schmahl?Science Workshops, a local nonprofit that engages students through hands-on experimental science investigation, will refresh an aging Victory Garden that serves a diverse neighborhood and gives access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The community has taken ownership of the space — which includes 46 family garden beds and a 12-bed educational garden — and it has become not only a food and pollinator garden, but?a?spot for neighbors to come together and get to know one another.?
Have we inspired you to create your own community pollinator garden? The deadline for fall Progress for Pollinators grant applications is September 1. For more information and to submit your project, visit?/explore/conservation/progress-for-pollinators/.?