Arkport school district awarded $10K for weather station

Christine Loman
Center from left, Gary Mahany, a former Arkport school board member who nominated the district, Monsanto representative Nate Holt, and Arkport 7-12 building principal Jesse Harper.

A weather station is in the works at Arkport Central School District, after it was announced last week the district has received $10,000 in grant money through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education.

Superintendent Glenn Niles said the money will be used for a weather station that will also share its information with the community.

“We plan to use it for all age levels, but specifically in kindergarten through eighth grade and ninth grade for earth science,” he said.

The center will include equipment to measure atmospheric conditions, wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity, he said.

The district was nominated for Monsanto Fund’s program by former school board member Gary Mahany, a local farmer. At a ceremony Friday, Mahany told assembled students he nominated the district after he noticed the program on Monsanto’s website.

“I spent 20 years on the board here and I learned very early that education is a balancing act,” he said. “We always looked at how much stuff you guys needed and then we looked at how many things we could pay for. My philosophy always was to give you the best education possible with the resources we had.”

Nate Holt, a representative from Monsanto, said the company works with local farmers to determine the program’s winners.

“This is a chance for us to donate to the farmers and the farmers delegate where to donate for a local school that’s really important within their community,” he said.

Niles said he hopes to have the station running by spring. Once the station is operational, the district plans to post weather information to its website for the community to use, he said.

“We apply for a few smaller grants every year. While we are fairly successful with those, we haven’t gotten anything with this scope in quite a while, so we were thrilled,” he said.