2019-2020, Project Based Learning, Science

Prairie Pollinator Garden Grant

February 10, 2020, Author: Sean McConathy

We are excited to announce that St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal School has partnered with the Houston Zoo and the City of Nassau Bay to install a learning garden here on our campus this spring! You can read more about the Prairie Pollinator Pathway project and see the role that St. Thomas will play in this program.

Why is such a garden important to living the mission of our school? Consider the following prayer excerpt:

God of Creation, you have placed in our hands knowledge of the secrets of creation and responsibility for the world…Teach us to love the earth as you do and to care for those who will come after us as much as you care for us

From the Cycle of Prayer for Episcopal Schools

As an Episcopal school, we want to cultivate in our students a sense of stewardship and responsibility for God’s creation. Our new garden will feature native flowering plants that provide food and resources to local pollinator species such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Our staff kicked off curriculum planning by watching this short documentary Pollinators Under Pressure to learn more about the current challenges facing many of our pollinator friends. We are also being supported by local area Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners who will work with our teachers and students to learn more about the complex world of pollination and native ecology.

Additionally this garden will serve as an extended classroom space to support student learning & Next Generation Science Standard implementation. School garden programs have many demonstrated benefits including increased academic achievement.  Our students will have a living laboratory where they can study Texas ecology, learn about plants, animals and insects, and continue interdisciplinary project-based-learning.

A crew from the Houston Zoo will arrive on Sat. Feb. 29 to install the foundations for the garden alongside STAES volunteers. March 16-20 will be our Pollinator Garden kickoff week across the school as students begin their pollinator projects.

St. Thomas on the Pollinator Pathway Map