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Hall High School Students Continue Environmental Stewardship

Hall High School Science teachers and their students are continuing to change the world one seed at a time.  In the Fall, students gathered seeds from the school wildflower conservation garden under the direction of Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists from the Bureau, LaSalle, Marshal and Putnam County University of Illinois Extension.  After drying and separating the seeds from the chaff, students learned how to stratify native seeds collected from the conservation garden. 

On November 21, 2022, Master Gardener Barb Dahlbach, Master Gardener Trainee Marcia Gray and Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Coordinator Bettyann Harrison, spent the day in science classes assisting students with stratification of their native wildflower seeds.  Native wildflower seeds need to experience a period of cold to germinate.  This cold period of stratification can vary depending upon the species. 

Bettyann Harrison

Students learned about the purpose of stratification and applied this new knowledge by stratifying the seeds collected in the fall.  This process included sifting the seeds, mixing a 10/1 moist sand to seed ratio, placing in a plastic bag, and refrigerating for at least 90 days.  In the Spring the students will return to the conservation garden to spread the seeds and continue to support the growth of native habitats.

Native wildflower plantings ensure the survival of many species as well as provide for a multitude of educational opportunities in the community.  If you are interested in learning more about providing habitat for native plants, animals, and pollinators, please contact Bettyann Harrison, Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Coordinator at (309) 364-2356 or .  Consider visiting the Conservation Garden at Hall High School in Spring Valley during the Spring and Summer months.  It is truly a glimpse into the of history of Illinois native prairies.

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