Mariposa Elementary Garden Attracts More Than Monarchs
Redlands, CA – After receiving a Water Conservation classroom program, fourth grade teacher Michelle Zofrea invited the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) to help implement a pollinator garden on Mariposa Elementary School’s campus in Redlands.
Prior to the garden planting IERCD presented a series of three conservation education programs to prepare the three fourth grade classes. The first program was Water Conservation to discover ways to conserve water outdoors. The second program was Growing Native which introduced the students to California native plant species. The last program presented was Backyard Conservation to help the students understand how to create a viable habitat.
The garden implementation occurred on April 11th. University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of San Bernardino County came out to support the teachers, parents, and students with proper planting techniques. IERCD staff delivered the materials and facilitated rotations so that all of the fourth grade students had a hand in bringing the garden to life!
IERCD partnered with the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District (SBVWCD) to complete this project. The SBVWCD funds a grant for two community gardens per fiscal year. The SBVWCD garden grant is used to purchase plants, soil, mulch, and signage for the two gardens so that they can be used as an educational tool. This year the first garden implementation was at Valley Preparatory School (Valley Prep) in Redlands. Valley Prep’s garden was a student led project that culminated in a ribbon cutting to invite the students and parents to see and use the beautiful space. More gardens will be implemented later this year in the service area of West Valley Water District to allow more outdoor learning opportunities.
The IERCD is a public agency that provides preservation, restoration, education and outreach services to over 25 cities and unincorporated communities in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The District operates under the guiding principle that the quality of the environment determines the corresponding quality of life, and works accordingly to improve local habitat sustainability for the benefit of all area dependent species. Implementing school gardens is just one of the many projects and events planned and/or participated in by District Board and staff, in an effort to spread the message of the importance of conservation of natural resources.
If you would like to know more about IERCD’s work and projects within the community, please contact IERCD Education Coordinator Jasmine Orozco Clark.