Combining Technology and Nature in the Ouachita National Forest

   

Combining Technology and Nature in the Ouachita National Forest
5/16/2011 8:58:30 AM

Two Rivers EAST students learn about nature, use technology to support Fourche Pollinator Garden.

Two Rivers High School EAST students recently visited the Fourche Pollinator Garden, an area located outside Danville on Forest Service Road 649 in the Ouachita Nation Forest. There the students used various technologies to document the new garden through video, photographs and VRDL.

The garden contains local native plants that attract a variety of local pollinators such as native bees, swallowtails and fritillaries. The project is funded by the International Wings Across the Americas Program with a special emphasis on the Monarch butterfly. Pollinators are declining at alarming numbers across the world and education may be the key to bringing back the much needed species.

“One goal of the program is to increase public awareness in the plight and importance of pollinators. They hope to encourage different groups in the local communities to volunteer and become citizen scientists to take the message home,” said Mary Lynn Mentz, Forest Biologist.

The students also used GPS to map the park area and its specific points of interest such as the bat house, pond, bird house and the new bee houses. The technical information gathered by the students will be used to develop informational pieces to be shared within the school, community and with the National Forest Service and their visitors.

The TRSD EAST program is pleased to work with the Fourche Pollinator Garden and plan on documenting the growth and development of the garden through the seasons and over the years. Future research will include the use of GPS and GIS technology to gather data on the wildlife that visit the area.

The students worked with Ms. Mentz, District Wildlife Biologist for the US Forest Service and Sarah Thompson, trainee and student. The garden received a grant in 2010 from the organization “Partners in Flight” that allowed them to pave the 700 foot handicapped accessible trail and purchase wildflower seeds.

EAST students Adrienne, Elijah, Megan, Tyler, Shana, Carlos, Kayla and James spent the afternoon learning about the decline of pollinators across the globe and the purpose and need of the garden. The students also learned about the local plants and wildlife that visit the garden.

 

 


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