Explain how your project will benefit butterflies and the community.
We are a nonprofit greenhouse organization that is super passionate about supporting pollinators in our community. Last fall we had land donated for our use. We would like to plant a pollinator field to support healthy pollinator life cycles with both host and nectar plants for various butterflies in our
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region. We will also use this area to harvest seeds to be able to begin pollinator gardens within the school gardens and community gardens we partner with as well as use these seeds to replant our own pollinator field year after year. We currently partner with 15 locations in our community. We help at each location on various levels. Several locations have already established garden spaces and in those schools/preschools we support them with seeds, plants and regular volunteer days helping with upkeep of their gardens and teacher trainings. We have other locations that have no gardens at all, and we come in and help build raised bed gardens for them and then support planting through supplying seeds, plants and again volunteering our time to the success of their program. We have a couple of elementary schools that simply just need occasional plants, they are well established and harvest their own seeds yearly, and they need man power, a group to come in on a regular basis and just help with upkeep and garden maintenance which we are happy to do. The garden programs we help establish and make seed and plant deliveries to on a regular basis, we have carefully and purposefully thought out the plant combinations we supply to provide excellent and beneficial companion planting while supporting pollinators and giving the students quality garden learning environments. Another aspect of what we do is saving pollinator friendly plants, trees, shrubs, etc. from being thrown into trash compactors when they do not sell (places like Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot). So many plants are simply tossed in the garbage, so we try our hardest to work with managers for donation or special discounted buy-outs of these plants before they are thrown away. We bring these plants back to our organization, nurse them back to health, because often they are not selling because they are not in the best condition due to how long they sit in these garden centers, and then get them donated out into our community.
Detail your project and fundraiser.
For our current fundraiser we are selling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Our sale began Jan. 25, 2019 and ends Feb. 6, 2019. As of Jan. 29, 2019 we have sold $372 in doughnuts and coffee with a profit to our organization of $192. We still have a full week of selling to complete this fundraiser, so we are hopeful for huge success. Two of the schools we partner with are selling the doughnuts throughout the school and those numbers are not yet calculated into the sales figure above, those numbers are just what our direct organization members have sold. To complete our field project we will need weed block fabric and ground spikes for the rows in the field, 3-4 truckloads of mulch minimum, seeds (plants are listed below), string and posts to support the flowers from wind damage, bags/containers for seed collection and storage and drip hoses to keep the field watered and thriving during the drought of the summer months. We were gifted the land in very late summer so for fall of 2018 we used one row of the field and planted zinnias and sunflowers and we harvested seed for this year. We also utilized a small section of the field for bulbs that were donated to our organization from various community members including daffodils, iris, daylilies, hyacinths, and glads. These bulbs and flowers can be dug up and taken to establish in our school and community garden sites. Until these bulbs are donated into garden sites, we use a portion of the cut flowers to donate to a local nursing home for the residents to enjoy fresh flowers on their dining tables. Our plan is to utilize the remaining field this spring and plant with milkweed, zinnia, parsley, fennel, joe pye weed, thistle, sunflowers, cosmos, button bushes, various asters and cone flowers and hollyhocks are among the plants we would love to have planted. We have access to a well on the property for watering, but soaker hoses that can line the field would be great during summer months when we usually experience some degree of drought. We would love to use this field as a pollinator support area so we can have healthy thriving butterflies, moths, bees and hummingbirds. Specific butterflies/moths we hope to target are Monarchs, Swallowtails, Buckeyes, American Lady, Pearl Crescents, Painted Lady and Sphinx Moths, but the more pollinators we can support the better. We also want to be able to harvest seed once flowers have bloomed out and are ready to harvest to utilize in this field year after year and to use to companion plant in our school and community
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garden sites we work to support and establish in our community. We would like to begin initial planting after danger of frost sometime mid-April and plant in 2-3 stages. First seeds would go in the ground in April, planting again around early June and then a final planting of more around early August.