OMS 8th Graders Start New Prairie Project

By Claire Prouty
In late April, OMS 8th graders went outside to the old existing prairie during their class
time. Their goal was to rejuvenate the existing prairie and expand it. We all had jobs to do when
we went out to the prairie. The students would do most of the work while Mrs. Jill Kelly oversaw
everything we were doing. The prairie was also tilled by then. Then we started raking all the
grass clumps that were present. When all the land was tilled and raked up we started putting
down the pollinator seeds. We put the pollinator seeds down twice over two different days. Then
Mrs. Gearhart’s homeroom class plotted the prairie with stakes and orange garden twine and
then measured out each of the grids.
When all the grids were marked out we then went to do the next round of the prairie
seeds. We let those pollinator seeds set for a while. All the different pods then started to plant
various plants. The plants were planted and covered with straw. The straw is very good at
keeping the seeds from moving in rain and prevents them from being eaten by birds, so it
makes it a great soil insulator for the colder nights.
Almost all of the boys in Mr. Morgan’s homeroom class went out to get rocks for the
prairie. They took out one of the wheelbarrows and then came back with loads of rocks. They
did this over a course of three to four days. The rocks were stacked in an area where they can
be seen by the public. They are a great example of glacial deposits and will be used when
students are learning Geology.
Mr. Harrison’s homeroom has also done a lot of work. They planted three trees by the
prairie and have also done most of the things listed above. The class has helped with
everything. When they planted the trees they had a lot of fun. Nevaeh Stewart says “ it was a
great experience, you watched everyone work together as a team”. When they planted the trees
they also put some mulch down for soil insulation. They planted 2 Plum trees and one Burr
Oak tree. The trees were provided by a Grant Mrs. Kelly was awarded to rejuvenate and
expand the garden.
Planting the prairie was a good learning opportunity. The prairie will also be used in the
coming years by the other students. The next year's students will observe how the prairie has
changed and how they can make it better for the next grade and for the upcoming grades. The
upcoming grades will keep the prairie up to date. Mrs. Kelly will help with the prairie health over
the summer and upcoming years. The prairie was a great experience. The upcoming grades
will also help keep adding to the prairie. The upcoming grades will work with Mrs.Kelly to
maintain the prairie and hopefully develop an outdoor classroom with seating. All students
should have the opportunity that we had. When we had the opportunity to get up and work
outside, after sitting in a classroom for a while, it helped to motivate students.

For all photos, click: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EupEyQkR3UMQv_n_vbyDra1ffa1V41FS?usp=sharing