The Task ahead
Group Member Emily Deeds described the area in question as “Bare except for a few dead mums and dead grass.” Her and the rest of the group thought it to be a real eyesore. And Mr Engel, their enviornmental studies teacher agreed:
"Looking around this school we now have the cougar statue when you walk in from the student lot and when you walk in from the bus loop its just been kinda bare so we’ve been looking for ways kind of spice up the landscape in the school.”
Deeds confirms this opinion: “He...doesn’t like how bare the bus loop garden is right now. I don’t think anyone at this school does...it looks a bit ugly.”
The Work Begins
At first, the students were unsure of what their soon-to-be garden would look like. Should they plant a structured garden, with ordered and patterned rings of plants, or should they pursue a more natural, meadow-like garden?
“We might go...with a mix of both by doing a more meadowyish sort of patterned one so we can sort of plant the plants wherever.” Deeds concedes, then they won't need to buy so many multiples of the same plant to create structured patterns.
As for the focus of the garden, the group decided to remain faithful to their butterfly theme: “Right now we decided the centerpiece plant was gonna be a butterfly bush...we had a height limit of 2-4 feet because we didn’t want to block visibility from the cafeteria out to the bus loop, but I think since butterfly bushes are airy, you’ll be able to see through them.”
Why a butterfly Garden?
The idea of a butterfly garden mainly stemmed from the groups shared interest in gardening and plants, but the garden does so much more for not only butterflies, but for all pollinators.
“It’ll be a place where they can get food and shelter and...we’ll have milkweed which will be a place for monarchs to lay eggs and caterpillars to eat the leaves and a place to have all of them grow and flourish."
Something Mr Engel is most excited for is the longevity of the project: “It’s gonna be something my future classes are gonna maintain so it kind creates a little legacy.”