The meadow at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is a unique educational resource. It is a treasure trove of beauty and learning opportunities and serves as a living example of how to garden responsibly while providing food and shelter for wildlife. But we are just one place, one small piece of the puzzle. While the Preserve’s meadow is beautiful and provides real life experiences and insight into the natural world, it is not accessible to everyone. Travel distances, time restrictions, and school budget challenges mean that school students who might benefit most from what the meadow has to offer are denied the opportunity to learn.
The Pocket Habitat educational initiative seeks to change all of that. This program aims to replicate small meadows in schoolyards and public spaces throughout the region. We’ll provide plants, planting diagram with instructions, and a long term maintenance plan. Schoolteachers will work with Preserve educators to design a Pocket Habitat curriculum that meets their needs for academic standards in science and math. We will hold teacher training workshops so that they become more fluent in the many learning opportunities found in their own Pocket Habitat. Through the act of planning, planting, caring for and observing their own school Pocket Habitat students will learn valuable lessons in biology, ecology, and horticulture.
It is in this living classroom, the Pocket Habitat, rather than inside four walls, that the greatest lessons can be found. When we spend time in the natural world, when we engage all of our senses—as well as our imagination and our creativity—then we can learn again how to be part of this place, and how to be better stewards of the world in which we live.