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L-EHS senior creates certified wildlife habitat at school

Posted: February 19, 2018 4:57 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Jenny Proctor/L-EHS

Lugoff-Elgin High School senior Jacob Whisenhunt plants flowers in a new wildlife garden in front of the campus. Whisenhunt led a group of volunteers in an effort to create a certified wildlife habitat at the school.


Jacob Whisenhunt, a senior at Lugoff-Elgin High School (L-EHS), has successfully created a certified wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Garden for Wildlife program. The NWF is America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization. Jacob’s habitat has also been co-certified with NWF’s state affiliate, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.

Whisenhunt’s garden is located in front of the main building at L-EHS off U.S. 1. This certified wildlife habitat garden is now also part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to create a million gardens that provide habitat for declining pollinator insects, like butterflies and bees.

“(During) the last 40 years, more than 200,000 wildlife gardeners have joined NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and these individuals have helped restore wildlife habitats right in their own yards and neighborhoods,” NWF Naturalist David Mizejewski said. “Turning your space into a certified wildlife habitat is fun, easy and makes a real difference for neighborhood wildlife.”

Whisenhunt created his habitat for his Eagle Scout project.

“While I was looking [for a project idea], the science department was asked by (L-EHS Principal Worth) Thomasson about getting one of these habitats. So I worked with them and got it done,” Whisenhunt said.

With his team of volunteers, Whisenhunt tackled one of the less attractive areas on campus in hopes of beautifying the area while also aiding wildlife.

“[The] area just didn’t look very good because the water [that] ran out from the parking lot made it look bare,” Whisenhunt said.

NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use.

“We built planter boxes, and then we planted some azaleas, which are native to the area and some other flowers. We also laid some mulch to reduce erosion,” Whisenhunt said.

Every certified wildlife habitat provides food, water, cover and places to raise young. Yards, schools, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes can all be certified as wildlife sanctuaries.



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