Woodbrook Elementary Butterfly Garden 2016
Boy Scout Troop 109
Boy Scout Troop 109's youth project leader thought than an unused courtyard at Woodbrook Elementary School would make a perfect spot for a butterfly garden. He enlisted fellow members of his scout troop to help prepare the beds and plant the flowers and shrubs. The newly installed garden will provide a habitat for native plants and butterfly species, as well as educational opportunities for the elementary students who will view and visit the garden.
Once the garden was planned and materials purchased, the project leader recruited several volunteers to hep with the work.
The team first had to remove the weeds in the courtyard and preparing the beds for planting. Careful preparation and augmentation of the soil is key to healthy plant growth. A landscaper was consulted on which plants are best for attracting and sustaining native butterflies, and several different varieties of flowers were purchased.
These flowers, trees, and shrubs will serve as safe habitats for bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds which all are natural pollinators of our garden plants. Pollinators are important not only for the flowers, but are also necessary for many food crops including apples, berries, beans, potatoes, coffee, almonds, and chocolate.
The newly updated garden will be used a resource for second graders learning about the life cycle of butterflies, which is part of their life science curriculum.
After years of not being used, the courtyard's flower beds were overgrown with weeds and the walls were covered with moss and algae; this was the view for the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms who look out on the courtyard.
After planting the flowers and shrubs, mulch was carefully applied to the beds, which will help keep weeds and pests out as well as help to retain moisture during the hot summer months. Finally, informational signs were added to help educate visitors to the garden about butterflies and other pollinators.
Pollinator populations, especially bees and monarch butterflies, are in serious decline due to widespread use of pesticides, loss of habitat, disease, and other environmental factors. How can you help? Plant a variety of native plants and flowers in your garden, add a water source, and reduce pesticide use. For more ideas check out: this link.
It will be a great place for the second grade students to release the butterflies that hatch from the cocoons they raise in the classroom.
Scout Troop 109's completed Butterfly Garden at Woodbrook Elementary not only repurposed an unused courtyard, but transformed it into an oasis for butterflies and other pollinators, as well as a learning environment for students. With continued care, the garden will provide much needed support to our pollinators and be enjoyed for years to come.