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Horticulture Club at U of M, Crookston Awarded $4,000 Grant to Create Native Plant Demonstration Garden
April 10, 2008

Contact: Eric Castle, assistant professor, 218-281-8119 (, Sue Jacobson, horticulture instructor, 218-281-8118 (, Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

Crookston, Minn. (April 11, 2008) – A proposal by the University of Minnesota, Crookston Horticulture Club to create a native plant demonstration garden has been awarded $4,000 by the Institute Grants on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. The grant was one of 12 awarded to student organizations across the U of M system supporting projects or activities taking place in spring 2008 that promote sustainability and the environment.

“As Minnesota celebrates its Sesquicentennial, maintaining native species is important,” says Scott Hoffman, U of M, Crookston senior and president of the Horticulture Club. “We want to pass on these native species to future generations and also protect and celebrate the ecological heritage of Minnesota by preserving the native plants in a demonstration garden.”

Currently, native plant species are under utilized in residential landscapes and often destroyed instead of enjoyed. Habitats are diminished where native species can be viewed, and plant materials used in residential landscapes have an increased risk of being invasive to the local ecosystem. The goal of the Horticulture Club’s proposal is to provide an area for students and the local community to learn about native plant species. The demonstration area will provide an opportunity to view native grasses, shrubs, flowers and wild fruits as well as motivate community members to use native plants in their landscapes.

Less care and energy are required for native plants in comparison to plant materials brought in from outside the area that require fertilizers, water and greater attention. The University of Minnesota, Crookston would like to encourage and educate students and the community about using native species.

The primary criteria for funding the grants included project feasibility, innovation, reach, the quality of the project and the potential impact in the community and/or on campus. To learn more about horticulture at the Crookston campus, visit or call Sue Jacobson, horticulture instructor at 218-281-8118 ( or Eric Castle, assistant professor at 218-281-8119 (

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