Ten Minnesota schools received grants to establish habitat for imperiled insect pollinators and monarch butterflies. The Owatonna High School FFA department was one of those ten schools. The pollinator grants were awarded by the Sand County Foundation and Enel Green Power North America Inc. Each grant recipient will receive native wildflower seedlings, a training webinar and consultation plus $1000 to cover the cost of the project.

Schools like Owatonna that qualified needed a greenhouse or other suitable indoor growing areas to raise the 600 seedlings of milkweed, prairie blazing star, wild bergamot, and other species they will receive in March. Then FFA members must identify a rural area, preferably a farm where they will transplant the native wildflowers in the spring and take care of them throughout the summer.

The objective of grant is to engage students in planting native wildflower diversity to rural areal that will benefit pollinators and Monarch Butterflies. The number of wild bees and Monarch butterflies has dropped because of the loss of native wildflowers and habitat around farmland.