Merrill students plant habitats for insects - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill students plant habitats for insects

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MERRILL (WAOW) -- More than 80 fifth graders and high school students gathered at Prairie Trails Park in Merrill Friday morning to plant habitats for insects.

The students from Washington Elementary and Merrill High School planted seeds and built homes for pollinating insects.

Damien Woodard, a fifth grader at Washington Elementary described a pollinator as "an animal that goes from one plant to another and sucks the pollen and makes new plants grow."

Woodard used butterflies and honey bees as examples of pollinators.

The event was hosted by Pheasants Forever, an organization that specializes in rebuilding natural habitats.

Rich Wissink, the Pheasants Forever director of youth programs, says pollinators are critical to our food supply.

Woodard said without pollinators, "you can't have dessert at all. Nothing for dessert. Pizza. You couldn't have any dairy products."

But this event was about more than bugs.

Wissink says, this was part of the organizations "No Child Left Indoors Initiative."

"Part of that initiative is getting kids involved at the grassroots level planting pollinator habitats," explained Wissink.

This was the first year Pheasants Forever partnered with local schools to plant habitats.

Organizers say they hope this is the start of a new tradition.

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