Juvenile Drug Court Participants Build Garden at Zoo
Excerpt: Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot is getting a native addition, thanks to the efforts of some local youth and the Upper Dakota Resource Conservation and Development Council.
No, it's not a bison or prairie falcon, but big bluestem and sideoats grama and other native plants that the state's earliest settlers encountered.
The serendipitous event began in March when Valerie Potter, coordinator of the Northwest District's Juvenile Drug Court, contacted Becky Dewitz, education coordinator for the zoo, about teaming up for a summertime project.
With environmental conservation on the forefront of many minds and the headlines of many newspapers, Dewitz went to work.
She contacted the Upper Dakota Resource Conservation and Development Council for assistance in creating a native backyard habitat for the North American section of the zoo, which will be used to educate zoogoers on species that are well adapted to life on the plains as well as show how their use can conserve water and provide wildlife habitat.
"It's an educational addition (to the zoo) but we also want to promote the use of native grasses and flowers for landscaping in people's own back yards," Dewitz said. "Utilizing these native plants will reduce water consumption and pesticide use, which is good for the environment."