CRE participates in Wild Ones Seeds program

CRE participates in Wild Ones Seeds program
Posted on 05/23/2022
Flower Bed at CRE

Central Ridge Elementary is taking part in the Wild Ones Seeds for Education Grant Program. This program honors Lorrie Otto, who inspired school garden projects in the 1970s in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.

Students, staff, and volunteers joined together to bring back critical wild space and instill an appreciation for Nature in Citrus Springs youth by planting Native plants of Florida at their school. According to Doug Tallamy, Wild ones Lifetime Honorary Director, University of Delaware entomologist and renewed author of “Bringing Nature Home”, We Humans have taken 95% of the natural world and made it unnatural.

The students involved, learned about the benefits of native plants while getting a close-up view of butterflies, songbirds and other creatures that use these plants for vital food and shelter. The site was mapped out, and 13-year-old compacted earth was rototilled, and given fertile soil to ensure the plants get the water they need for a new rooting system.

Jill Wehler, teacher at Central Ridge, said, "This was an exciting hands-on learning experience for our youth. They have been engaged in the planning of this project and learning about how growing native plants from our local ecosystem supports wildlife. This grant helped us purchase the native seeds and plants we need. The kids can hardly wait to watch the garden grow and explore the assortment of creatures it will attract!"

In 2022, Wild Ones has been proud to award over $9,500 in funds and partner with 24 youth-serving organizations in 19 states on critical native plant projects.

For grant information, visit