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2018 Update: West Central Area Experimental Plots

West Central Area School District and grounds are located in west central Minnesota. The high school is located in Barrett, MN which encompasses five small communities (Barrett, Hoffman, Kensington, Elbow Lake, and Wendell) that have united to make one high school. The school was built in 1994 and we are still in the process of restoring our 35 acres of land (Environmental Learning Center – ELC) into native prairie plant species. The ELC has several trails, an observation deck, and a pier that reaches into a small pond. The area has recently begun to be more and more incorporated into several classroom activities. One of the science classes used the ELC in 2018 to sample types of Bombus (bumblebee) species and populations, the agricultural instructor has been using the ELC for soil sampling and classification along with looking at soil profiles. Even the art teacher has had drawing sessions from the observation deck and the English teacher used it for writing exercises. The plan is to utilize the ELC more and more in upcoming years and we have received outstanding support from the school administration, school board, and local businesses in promoting this part of our school. Plans for 2019 are to have 12 plots that 8m x 12m in which four are burned in the spring, 4 are burned in the fall and 4 are not burned at all. As years progress, we plan to have classes engaged in monitoring the progression and health of some native species in these plots, especially Echinacea angustifolia, which will be hand planted in the plots in May of 2019.

Start year: 2019

Location: West Central Area High School

Overlaps with: Nothing… yet!

GPS points shot: 96 points delineating the future plot locations

The location of the field site, near the high school

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