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Pollinator Project and Kitchen Classroom

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Heck, and being an Americorp Vista Volunteer, I have had the wonderful privilege of participating in and coordinating an assortment of projects that heavily rely on the help of dedicated and caring volunteers.

One of those projects is the Native Pollinator Art & Education Project that took place the week of February 6th through 9th. It was early Monday morning, the week of the Native Pollinator Art & Education Project, when the SVS crew, local volunteers, and a team of educators from the O’Hara Commons & Sustainability Center in Hamilton, Montana met together, steaming cups of coffee in hand, to prepare for the first class of the day. With the Trailblazer loaded with art supplies and pollinator education materials, the team was off to Pioneer Elementary School!

Every class from kindergarten to 8th grade produced uniquely, beautiful artwork that was gazed upon with awe and admiration by the crew. The installation of the pollinator cut-outs on the elementary fence in May will ensure that both the entire community of Salmon and people just passing through will get to observe and marvel at the picturesque mural of our important, native pollinators.

It was an honor to be a part of this exhilarating project. I want to genuinely thank every volunteer who contributed their valuable time and effort out of their busy day to assist with this project. We could not have successfully accomplished this without them! I look forward to the installation of these beautiful pollinators in May, and hope to see these supportive volunteers again, along with new faces who are also charmed by this exceptional endeavor.

The recipes for this five week project include: Veggie Rounds & Hummus, Mixed Greens Salad & Vinaigrette, Popcorn, Three Sisters Soup (squash, corn, and beans), and Quinoa Taco Lettuce Wraps. Students learn how to read and follow these simple recipes right inside their classroom with the help of portable kitchen stations. These kitchen stations consist of three, large plastic tubs that have an array of kitchen tools and supplies in them. It is sincerely a joy to observe the participation of these students. Watching them measure spices with a teaspoon and reaming a lemon awards me with a personal satisfaction that can be instilled only by aspiring and curious young minds.

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