Beyond the Classroom: Integrating Prairie Restoration, Environmental Education and Community Building
Dr. Tracy Gartner, the director of Carthage’s Environmental Science Program, has teamed up with Dr. Prisca Moore, a professor in the Carthage Education Department, to offer a unique opportunity to students studying environmental science at Carthage.
Profs. Gartner and Moore teach the service learning course BIO/EDU/ENVS 271: Prairie Restoration, in which students work with a local nature center in Kenosha to design and implement a native prairie planting. The students also work with high school students from Harborside Academy, a Kenosha school that specializes in expeditionary learning.
The course is offered in collaboration with the Earth Partnership for Schools Program, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Arboretum.
The objectives of the course are to strengthen environmental education in the community, develop students’ knowledge of native prairie plants, and to illustrate the process of collaboration and environmental decision-making. Students develop an understanding of environmental restoration as they plan, implement and evaluate prairie restoration projects.
The long-term goals of the course are to have students develop an appreciation for stewardship for the environment and begin a habit of community service, as well as reinforce the positive presence of Carthage in the community by connecting Carthage students with K-12 students.