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Sixth-graders to take part in Botanical Garden field trips thanks to grant

By: The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc.

BUFFALO - The J.M. McDonald Foundation, Inc. has awarded the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. an education grant to provide educational programming at the Botanical Gardens for 160 Lackawanna students.

This grant will allow all sixth-grade students from the Lackawanna City School District to visit the Botanical Gardens for a hands-on program, free of charge.

The Not A Drop To Drink program is designed for middle school students and encourages them to explore topics of pollution and responsible water usage. In the "Fred the Fish'' lesson, students will simulate river pollution while brainstorming how to solve water quality issues. Students will learn about the effects of pollution first-hand by setting up an experiment to take back to the classroom in the terrarium experiment lesson. On a mini-tour of the Botanical Gardens, students will discover the relationship between water and plant life while exploring the many greenhouses. They will also examine the aquatic garden ecosystem and learn about the different ways plants adapt to store water. Through these lessons, students will discover the important relationship between water, plants and our planet while learning about the water cycle and the scientific method. Not A Drop To Drink and all other hands-on programs at the Botanical Gardens are aligned with the New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards and the Common Core State Standards.

"Education is at the core of our mission and we are very grateful to the J.M. McDonald Foundation, Inc. for providing this invaluable opportunity to all the sixth-grade students from the Lackawanna City School District," noted Dave Swarts, president/CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring our students to the Botanical Gardens. Our students thrive on hands-on learning, so this is a perfect opportunity for our sixth graders. We are very grateful to have been offered the grant," added Bethany L. Schill, principal of Lackawanna Middle School.

The J.M. McDonald Foundation, Inc. was created in 1952 by Mr. J. M. McDonald. Over the past 53 years, trustees of the foundation have sought to uphold J. M.'s desire to improve education and social programs in and around the upstate New York area. Go to their website for more information.

For more about the Botanical Gardens, visit their website. Proceeds benefit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire curiosity and connect people to the natural world through its historic living museum.