PRIDE awards $500 to Union College

Published on
March 01, 2016

PRIDE awards $500 to Union CollegeEastern Kentucky PRIDE announced today that Union College had been awarded $500 through the PRIDE Environmental Education Grant Program, which is made possible by a grant to PRIDE from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK).

Union College will use the grant to build two monarch butterfly waystations on campus. The college will develop habitat for monarchs by improving the supply of native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants. Jodi Carroll, Director of The Center for Civic Engagement, says the college is partnering with Barbourville Independent Schools and Bell County Area Technology Center to complete the project.

“This will be a great project to complement two spots on campus,” Carroll said. “We can’t forget that these little creatures proudly sport the colors of orange and black, just like Union. We hope to have them visible in large numbers at the way stations within the next few years.”

The monarch areas will serve as a center of learning for all ages. Students and visitors will be able to observe butterflies and learn lessons related to the life cycle, predator and prey defense mechanisms, habitat conservation, monarch migration, and butterfly gardening. Union will build one butterfly way station near the community garden at the Center for Civic Engagement and one at the college’s Turner Outdoor Center. Students from Barbourville Independent Schools will help to plant native species to attract the butterflies and learn from them as the way stations are utilized.     

The project will support international efforts to increase the monarch butterfly population. The ultimate goal is to reach a resilient population and continue the species’ migratory phenomenon.

During the fall, Monarchs fly southward to Mexico, and they fly back to the United States and Canada in the spring. The plants they need along the route — particularly milkweed — are dwindling. Due to this loss of habitat, their population has declined.

Anyone who wants to help the monarch butterflies can build a waystation, which provides the plants they need as they migrate through the United States. To learn more about monarch butterflies and waystations, visit www.monarchwatch.org.

Overall, PRIDE awarded $32,253 to schools that applied for the grant program across 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. The grants can be used for a variety of educational activities that help students appreciate and care for the environment and to serve their community.

“I want to congratulate the grant recipients and thank the educators who are leading these projects,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson.

Promoting environmental education is one the key missions of PRIDE, a nonprofit organization. The other two missions are cleaning up the region’s waterways and removing solid waste problems. Founded in 1997 by Congressman Hal Rogers and the late General James E. Bickford, PRIDE works alongside citizens, teachers and elected officials to improve the region’s environment and quality of life.

For a complete list of grant recipients, please visit www.kypride.org.