Friends School of Minnesota 5th and 6th graders worked with National Park rangers, volunteers, and members of the Mississippi Park Connection to make seed bombs for prairie restoration work within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). This hands-on seed ball activity is a great way to bring service work into schools and connect students to a unique natural area in their community.
Students rolled compost, soil, sand, and 3 types of seeds into balls. These seed bombs will be thrown at a field trip on April 14th to Coldwater Spring, a part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area that is being restored to an oak savanna/prairie complex. FSMN students have been going to Coldwater Spring and doing service work there since it opened in 2012.
Students calculated the average number of seeds per bomb (385), the average number of bombs per bowl (9), bombs per tray (90), and total number of trays (19)and total bombs per class. They then figured out how many square feet of prairie they were helping to restore and what that would look like if it were a perfect square vs the many rectangular or other geometrical options!  The 1710 bombs made by 5th and 6th graders mean they will be dispersing about 658,350 seeds in April when they go throw them at Coldwater Spring. They figured that their seed bombs would plant 855 square feet of new prairie if they were seeding new land! However, at Coldwater Spring, our seeds are actually enhancing larger amounts of prairie that is already in the process of being restored.
Seed bombs are balls of compost, soil, sand and seeds that can be stored and then distributed at the proper season. These seed bombs contain Minnesota natives: Side Oats Grama, Blue Grama, and Little Blue Stem.
Look for more pictures and stories after our upcoming field trip to throw the seed bombs on April 14th!

–Kris Bennett, Friends School of Minnesota Middle School Math Teacher

Read Kris Bennett’s other posts about Friends School of Minnesota’s field trips to and service work with Coldwater Spring: