Challenge 5: School Garden — Connect to Protect: Native Plant Network

For Groups — Maximum points: 200 (1 entry per school)

Fairchild’s Connect to Protect: Native Plant Network is a citizen science program that enlists South Florida residents and students to plant native plants to connect the few remaining isolated fragments of pine rockland— our globally critically imperiled ecosystem. Your challenge is to learn about pine rocklands through the process of planting pine rockland plants provided by Fairchild, maintaining them throughout the school year, and sharing your new knowledge. In addition to maintaining the plants, students should research their needs, the animals and insects that depend on them, and their role and importance in the broader South Florida ecosystem. In March or April of 2024, a representative from the garden will visit your school to tour your pine rockland and hear what you have learned. Students should be prepared to engage with their visitor by sharing their knowledge, explaining successes and challenges they experienced and answering questions about these significant native plants. Download PDF

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Monday, February 26, 2024 through Sunday, March 3, 2024

Electronically submit the following:

You will be contacted to coordinate a visit to your school by Fairchild representatives. Visits will take place in March and April 2024 and will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis. 

✓  Entry Requirements:
 Student led presentation should be no more than 10 minutes in length and conducted in the school garden
 On-time entry form submission. Late entries will be accepted with a reduction in points.

REQUIRED TEACHER WORKSHOP: Monday, September 25, 2023 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
During this workshop we will introduce educators to concepts and techniques needed to guide students through planting and maintaining a native pine rockland school garden. Space is limited, registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Register here. Visit our Teacher Workshops page for more information. Teachers in MDCPS wishing to receive MPP for participating in this workshop must register through Frontline.

Bring your class on a virtual field trip at Fairchild. Please visit Explorer Field Trip Programs for more information.

For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 5 rubric

Visit the Challenge 5 lesson planning guide to learn ideas for implementing this Challenge in your classroom.


Pine Rocklands Resources:

Oral Presentation Resources: