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Emery Weiner School at the Pocket Prairie

The group of students with their Dean, Justin.

Nine 8th graders from Emery Weiner School and their Dean came to work on the Westbury Pocket Prairie on February 1, 2018.


The students planted native grasses dug from the Kolter School Prairie.  Ahlene Shong was instrumental in sharing her prairie plants with us.  They included switch grass, big blue stem and little blue stem.  It is hoped that these truly native grasses will thrive in the pocket prairie so that it will become a true model for the tall grass prairies that early settlers found along the Gulf Coast.


Hazel Potvin (left) instructs the students on the day’s activities.

The boys start digging the holes for the new plantings.

The girls did their share of the hole digging.


Here the girls are planting the new grasses.


The boys also did planting after the holes were dug.

Currently, the pocket prairie is dormant and very flat since it was  mowed in December.  After mowing, the old timey rake was used to collect the thatch that can keep native plants from filling the prairie.  Besides planting, the Emory Weiner students also raked more thatch and transported it to the PIFF for use as a mulch.   Gradually, in the next few months the prairie will awaken and the nice show of flowers we usually have will happen again.

After the planting the area was raked to remove loose dead grass.


Jasmin Regalado and Steve Goldberg helped with the student project.  Jasmin took the girls on a tour of her garden and inspired them to want to create gardens back at their school.  All the students came over to check out the allotment gardens and were pretty impressed with what is growing now in our gardens.  Steve took lots of pictures of the project.  Working with youth in the garden and watching them learn to dig a hole and plant things is such fun.

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