New CLHS ag program attracts grant

by Marianne Gasaway

Clear Lake High School’s new agriculture program has received a $7,200 grant to fund the purchase of soil and water sampling equipment.

CLEAR Project Coordinator Jim Sholly, who is a member of the advisory panel which helped to get the program added to the local curriculum, said the Cerro Gordo Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa awarded the grant.  As the natural resources arm of the advisory board, he said he has been working with teacher Elisa Russ to help her get the tools needed to engage students.

“I am always writing grants and looking at ways to fund my ‘wish list’ of things to help us monitor and improve the water quality of Clear Lake,” explained Sholly, adding he currently has a list of four projects he would like to see funded.

The $7,500 award from the foundation almost fully covered the amount needed to purchase six LabQuest 2 sampling devices from the Vernier company.  The Clear Lake Association for the Preservation of Clear Lake is donating the remaining $300 needed for the purchase.

“With the amount of the grant money, I looked at where it would do the most good and have the greatest impact.  The sampling equipment seemed to be the perfect fit,” said Sholly.

The LabQuest devices were specifically designated by Russ as her preferred choice for sampling. Educators using the devices rave, saying they allow

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