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Pollinator habitat project at Gladstone Nature Park serves as demonstration site

Karen Zerzan's sixth grade class at Kraxberger Middle School is helping create a butterfly/pollinator hill at Gladstone Nature Park, located two blocks from the school.

Kraxberger Middle School sixth grader Laura Wolchesky finds a snail while helping restore Gladstone Nature Park.Friends of Gladstone Nature Park (FOGNAP), a local nonprofit organization, is leading the project. Other partners in the effort include the city of Gladstone, Exceed Enterprises, the Audubon Society and Bosky Dell Natives.

In June, FOGNAP received a $11,600 matching grant from Metro to purchase native plants and materials to encourage a pollinator habitat in the park.

"Students come for half an hour each week. We planted some milkweed last week and did some sheet-mulching to create a bed for plants," said FOGNAP leader Nancy Eichsteadt. "On their next visit, they plan to make a video and install leaf molds they made in a previous class."

Pollinator habitat is being constructed on a hill on the north side of the park, about halfway between the two park entrances on Webster and Oatfield roads. With an elevation of 240 feet above sea level, the hill is the highest point in the park.

FOGNAP volunteers say that pollinators around the globe are in serious trouble due to habitat loss, urban development, disease and overuse of pesticides. For more information, or to volunteer at the park, go to or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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