Ohio Community Receives Monsanto Fund Grant to Improve Live Science Classroom

Budget cuts and limited funding for technology often hinder local organizations, but Ohio’s Darke County Park District recently partnered with Monsanto’s site in Greenville, Ohio, to receive a grant that will be used to update its live science classroom.

Darke County Park District was awarded an $8,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company. With this money, the park district will purchase a runoff water display, an interactive touch screen multimedia center, and refresh animal habitats.

“The naturalist staff is very excited to start working to revive our live classroom through projects made possible through this grant,” said Erica Dickey, naturalist at the Darke County Park District.

The organization, a nonprofit in Greenville, encompasses more than 800 acres, including 10 park locations and a cross-county lineal park, in development.

“Currently, the most popular attraction in our live classroom is our various animal habitats,” said Dickey. “We have a variety of native turtles, snakes, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish and many more species that call our live classroom home. We are planning to use some of the money to refresh current and to add new animal habitats.”

“The interactive runoff water display will be an educational kiosk that shows water circulation in relation to our nature center and surrounding area,” said Dickey. She explained the goal of this display will be to demonstrate the benefits of permeable surfaces in managing runoff, which is an important issue in today’s world of constant development.

Christopher Aulbach, Monsanto site lead, was also excited to play a part in the donation.

“We are extremely excited to have a local organization like the Darke County Parks District receive this grant,” Aulbach said. “The park district provides services for our local schools and community that we work with. It is nice to see that we can do something to help them improve their programs.”