Eco Ambassadors

Eco Ambassadors: Fifth Grade Pollinator Gardens project is a school-based service and learning project aimed at teaching 800 fifth grade students, from all eleven schools in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD), in school yard science and art activities over the course of the 2015-2016 school year. 
Students will first design and build native plant gardens on their campuses. Then, during Earth Day celebrations, they will teach the lower grades about what they have learned over the course of the year. Students will also create permanent art and interpretation pieces in their gardens. Finally, all students (K-5) will receive native seeds to grow their own pollinator gardens at home. This project is made possible by a collaboration among the school district, Return of the Natives, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History and the Arts Council for Monterey County with funding from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board.
What’s a native plant? What is pollination? Why are pollinators important? The answers to these questions, and many more, are part of the special experience MPUSD 5th graders have embarked on. Teaching good stewardship of the land at an early age will help prepare these students to make good choices for themselves and for the environment.
The Museum provides students with a combination of in-class science lessons and outdoor experiential education. At the end of the year, we hope the hands-on experiences the students receive will help them better understand the benefit of restoring local habitats on the peninsula – for humans and wildlife alike. Combining science education with outdoor games, artistic expression, and the building of a garden at each school has created an opportunity for all the MPUSD 5th graders to become better stewards of their future environment.