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Where learning comes naturally

Delicate dragonflies and damselflies flit over the waters of a shallow pond at Heartland Forest in Niagara Falls,
providing visitors with a glimpse into the lifecycle of a unique and endangered species.
Special signage, developed to be clear and accessible for all, explains how the pond, with its border of
Carolinian species and special aquatic plantings, provides habitat for the invertebrate insects. The pond
adaptations and signage were made possible by a $6,500 grant from the Niagara Community Foundation.
The signage explains how four types of native plantings support the four life-cycle stages of dragonflies and
damselflies: submerged, floating, emerging and marginal. Educational programming materials such as a
leader’s guide, pre-excursion notes and laminated field identification sheets are available for visitors, adding to
the learning and discovery opportunities.
In keeping with Heartland Forest’s mission to preserve and educate, the newly adapted pond and its interpretive
materials have enriched the experiences of an estimated 5,000 visitors of all ages, including families, summer
campers and school groups. Heartland Forest is committed to making environmental education and awareness
available and accessible to all.
The 2016 grant is the sixth in a series of grants from Niagara Community Foundation’s Environmental Grant
Program that have helped to develop and educate about various aquatic habitats at the 93-acre fully-accessible
nature preserve.

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