Students of Cloquet and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources decided to improve the Cloquet campus forest area. The students have been studying the school’s forest while researching how climate change can influence the health of the plant species in the region. The students of Cloquet have planted about 500 trees collectively. After planting seeds, students geotagged (a precise location global positioning data tool) each seedling. These geotag tools will allow students to pinpoint the location of these plants as they grow and develop.
Why Do Cloquet Students Have To Study Environment?
Students, with the help of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources forester Thor Pakosz, chose a variety of tree and shrubs to plant. The plants chosen were partially determined by which plants could thrive in Minnesota’s natural environment. The students have been studying the school’s forest to know why some plant species can not survive the gradually shifting forest region.
During the last fifty years, mean annual precipitation in most of the Midwest has increased by 5 to 10 percent. In Minnesota specifically, between 1951 and 2012, total precipitation amounts increased by over 20% in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan areas. The changes in Minnesota’s climate and environment is evident. For this reason, students had to be selective with the tree and shrub species that they decided to seed.
Through an understanding of Minnesota’s forests and plant’s species, students are able to understand why certain species would thrive there and why others would not. This effort was collaborated for Arbor Day and marks the first tree planting commemoration of the holiday for the Cloquet high school and middle school students. Future generations of Cloquet students are expected to track and care for the seeded plants.