Teachers may receive classroom equipment for pollinators program

The Freehold Soil Conservation District will provide free Plants for Pollinators in the Classroom resource kits to several teachers in Middlesex and Monmouth counties in early 2016.

The Plants for Pollinators in the Classroom program is designed to help students discover the importance of native pollinators and to study the relationship between plants and pollinators, according to a press release.

Selected teachers will receive indoor growing kits complete with a plant stand, grow bulbs, potting soil and seeds for students to explore plant growth, conduct experiments and raise pollinator plants. Each kit also includes a packet of resources, lessons, plant information and planting guidelines.

In the spring, student-grown plants are to be planted in a school or community garden. Participating teachers will also receive a supply of potted plants to enhance their pollinator garden. All materials will be provided free of charge, according to the press release.

Pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, moths and birds play a critical role in the production of more than 150 food crops in the United States – among them apples, almonds, blueberries, cranberries, melons, pears and squash. An estimated 90 percent of flowering plants depend on bees and other insects as well as birds and bees for pollination, according to the press release.

Teachers must apply for the program by March 1 and supplies are limited. The Plants for Pollinators in the Classroom registration brochure is available online at www.freeholdscd.org, by emailing info@freeholdscd.org or by calling 732-683-8500. This program is open to teachers in Middlesex County and Monmouth County schools.