High school's Pollinators Club updates Rotarians on project

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BY CHARLES LISTON | Special to the Banner

The Trimble County High School’s new Pollinator Club has embarked on a mission with the Bedford Rotary Club to increase awareness of the importance of butterflies, moths, bees and other natural pollinators to our food resources.

Since initial meetings between school administrators and the Rotary club, students have shown an active interest, growing the Pollinator Club’s membership to more than a dozen students. Nine of the club’s students were at Bedford Rotary’s Nov. 13 to discuss the project.

The project is very much still in the planning stage, with important implementations planned for the coming spring and summer. Locations for pollinator demonstration plots at the schools and for a veteran’s demonstration site are now decided upon. Recent meetings with students also emphasized potential small research projects before and after actual site developments, which will enrich science learning in addition to the main objective for benefiting directly the pollinators.

The Bedford Rotary Club has been successful in obtaining a small grant of several hundred dollars to help “kick start” the program this fall and winter. Students will identify materials and plants required to develop plots this spring and Rotary will purchase these and provide them directly to the students involved. Students are also actively pursuing other sources of funds, including grants from Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot and Kentucky Farm Bureau. Experience in other communities, such as Madison, Ind. and Jennings County, Ind., has shown local organizations and businesses are very much supportive and willing to contribute to these worthwhile programs.

The pollinator habitat program has the strong backing of both Rotary and school administrators. We all see a vast, multi-year potential that may unfold, contributing much to community environmental enhancement awareness, and especially to assist pollinator populations. Students can also meet “community involvement” requirements in the future. Though “intensive” demonstration habitats are planned initially, roughly 10-feet by 15-feet, there exists greater potential for more “extensive” developments, perhaps something as large as 10-50 acre fields being converted to enhanced pollinator habitats.

Briefings will be provided from time to time on student progress, the next one in early 2019. The Bedford Rotary Club appreciates the interest and enthusiasm demonstrated by Trimble County Schools, and is honored to be working with students in this additional manner, now and perhaps for years to come. Rotary inquiries about the program can be sent to Charles Liston, crlist@aol.com. Inquiries about school involvement can be directed to Kyle.helton@trimble.kyschools.us.