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Harvey Elementary School Students Create Butterfly Garden

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    Katie Park

After a year-long class project, students at Harvey Elementary School in Kenosha, WI planted a butterfly garden to attract the orange and black migratory monarch butterfly, a species that has decreased by 84 percent in the past 20 years.

The project began in the beginning of the year when the students expressed interest in the topic. Teachers Sara Anderson and Maryette McKillip were key to this project’s success by motivating their students to get fully immersed in the topic.

“The students began the 2016-17 school year researching and learning about the monarch in an across-the-curriculum program that included work in technology, social studies, math, writing, science and art.” McKillip said.

“It was a project that had them involved throughout the school year. They were so excited to learn about the monarch.” Anderson said.

Not only did these students do extensive research on the monarch butterflies, but they also presented their project to Youth as Resources, who provide grants for youth-led community service project that they believe will benefit the Kenosha County community. Youth as Resources granted Harvey Elementary students $500 to fund the construction of the garden bed and to buy the flowers.

With all of the supplies ready and the research completed, the students, teachers, and some parents all came together on June 7 to plant the butterfly garden. They planted blue verbenas, coreopsis, milkweed, and other flowers that are known to attract the monarch butterfly. The students hope that their garden will attract and stimulate the butterflies’ reproduction cycles, which will start to restore the dying monarch population.

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