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Environmental science program secures funding for pollinator habitat

Matthew Stultz Apr 25, 2022

Waynesburg University’s Environmental Science Program recently received funding from the Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program, administered by Wild Ones.

“This will be an exciting hands-on learning experience for both the college students and for the youth of Greene County,” said Dr. Janet Paladino, professor of environmental science. “My students have been engaged in the planning of this project and developing lesson plans to educate local youth about the importance of growing native plants to support local wildlife.”

This will be an exciting hands-on learning experience for both the college students and for the youth of Greene County."

Dr. Janet Paladino, professor of environmental science

The funds allowed environmental science students to build a pollinator habitat for native species of plants indigenous to southwestern Pennsylvania with the intention of supporting future youth education efforts.

Along with help from the Center for Service Leadership, the students transformed an existing landscape into a pollinator habitat at the corner of Route 19 and Willison Street.

“The students are excited to educate the area youth about how to address this critical environmental issue and how we can contribute to the support of native pollinators,” Dr. Paladino said.

In addition to hosting educational sessions with local students, the garden will also be accessible by the entire community.

The Seeds for Education Grant Program honors Lorrie Otto, who inspired school garden projects in the 1970s in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area.

For more than 20 years, Wild Ones has awarded Seeds for Education grants to youth-serving organizations for acquiring native plants and seeds for outdoor learning areas that directly engage students from preschool to high school in the planning, planting and caring of native plant gardens throughout the United States.

For more information, contact Dr. Paladino at

About Wild Ones

Wild Ones is a nationally recognized, membership-based non-profit organization with a mission to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones achieves their mission by providing quality, online learning opportunities open to the public that feature experts in the native plant movement, producing free, region-specific, native garden design templates to help people start their first native garden, awarding “Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education” grants that engage youth in planning, planting and caring for educational natural landscapes, publishing a quarterly, award-winning journal featuring valuable native plant information and resources, and supporting the grassroots efforts of 90+ nationwide Wild Ones chapters representing over 7,000 members in 27 states.

About Waynesburg University

Consistently ranked a best value school, Waynesburg University’s Strategy for the 21st Century affirms its commitment to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and ethical leadership skills for all students. Rooted in its mission of faith, learning and service, the private, Christian university is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with an additional site for graduate and professional programs in Southpointe.