McCrory Gardens receives 3M EcoGrant


3Mgives selected McCrory Gardens to receive one its EcoGrants. Pictured are, from left: Lisa Marotz, operations manager at McCrory Gardens; Becky Jirava, 3M; Daniel Scholl, interim dean for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences; Jim Fay, 3M; Mary Erickson, 3M; and Christina Lind-Thielke, assistant gardener and education coordinator.

3M recently awarded McCrory Gardens one of its Eco Grants to further its mission of “Connecting people and plants through education, discovery, research and enjoyment of the natural and built landscape.”

In 2016, 3Mgives selected 12 projects to receive Eco Grants totaling $400,000. 3M gives Eco Grants to support programs in conservation and environmental education in nature centers and environmental learning centers in or near 3M communities.

“You’re one of the great assets of the Brookings community,” said Jim Fay, the Brookings 3M plant manager, when presenting the $50,000 grant.

McCrory Gardens is maintained by professional staff under the authority of South Dakota State University, with more than 25 acres of gardens and 45 acres of arboretum. McCrory Gardens, which is funded by donations, admission fees and endowment returns, had more than 40,000 visitors from 48 states and 16 countries in 2016.

McCrory Gardens will use the funds for its McCrory on the Map project, a free education festival in spring 2017 and transportation sponsorships for schools with Title 1 status to facilitate field trips.

A major component of the project will be the creation of the McCrory Gardens Explorer. This web interface/mobile app will allow visitors to search for particular plants, locations or garden features via their own mobile device or on a device that will be available at the front desk. The app will bring up information, photos and a map of the desired plant/location/feature.

McCrory Gardens applied for the grant in October and received the award mid-November. 3M formally presented the grant at McCrory Gardens in December.

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