Sustainable Native Plant Species Garden Project

Service Learning Project

Develop a plan for a Service Learning Project in your area. The project should be based on one of the following options and include the role of ecosystem services and the function of species interrelations in ecosystem management as well an assessment of the approaches used to manage and restore forests. Use the planning table provided with your project choice.

Select and complete one of the following assignments:

Option 1: Sustainable Native Plant Species Garden Project

Option 2: Native Pollinator Population Recovery Project

Option 3: Habitat Restoration Project

Option 1: Sustainable Native Plant Species Garden Project

Select an unused area in your neighborhood that can be converted into a sustainable native garden using at least 10 local, indigenous species. Possibilities include abandoned lots, industrial or business parks, roof tops, green spaces in front of government buildings, street medians, parking lot grass patches, church yards, community parks, or local forest preserves.

Complete the following four steps:

1. Find 10 native species by locating your state’s Department of Natural Resources.

2. Complete the Service Planning Table below by listing the key points needed to developa plan that incorporates the ecological and biological principles of sustainability into your project.

3. Prepare a 700- to 800-word letter to the landowner requesting use of the space for the garden and outline the benefits of a having a native plant species garden within the community. Consider ecosystem services, beautification, and education. The letter should include the points completed from the planning table.

4. Submitboth your letter and completed planning table to your instructor.

Service Planning Table

Steps and Resources NeededExplanation(Advantages and Disadvantages)Relation to Sustainable Ecosystems(When Applicable)
Locate a suitable area in your community
Identify landowner and other interested parties
Points to include in letter
Explain why your local ecosystem(s) would benefit from a native species garden.
Identify 10 native plant species that will grow at the site. Determine whether these species have any special habitat requirements including soil requirements, herbivore protection, other species interrelations, and pollination needs.
Which ecosystem services are provided by your native species garden? How do these services help create a sustainable ecosystem?
Which specific species interrelations are associated with your native species garden? What function do these interrelationships have in large-scale ecosystem management and restorations?
Explain which ecological practices you will use to create your native species garden.
How are these practices similar to methods currently used to manage and restore plant species in forest ecosystems? Do you consider these current methods successful approaches to sustainable management? Explain.
Support your points with at least four references. At least two references should be from scholarly academic journals.