http://www.strausnews.com/articles/2008 ... news/5.txt
Students create butterfly habitat
Sparta - For the past two months Helen Morgan School has been abuzz with
plans to create a certified Monarch butterfly habitat - providing food,
shelter, water and a place to rear their young for butterflies and moths.
The habitat will be registered with Monarch Watch, a University of Kansas
education and conservation organization (www.monarchwatch.org), as a
Certified Monarch Waystation.
PTO Beautification Chairman Heather DeFilippis and her fellow committee
members planned the project and reached out to the school community for
support. Parents and children donated funds to create this outdoor classroom
habitat, raising over $1,200. They also donated their time and sweat equity
to prepare the planting beds. Teachers will use this habitat to teach across
the curriculum including earth science, biology, and life science lessons
while promoting environmental stewardship. The use of native plants has
been stressed in the deer resistant design created by a Sussex County Master
Gardener parent volunteer, Lisa Chiariello. North Creek Nurseries in
Pennsylvania (www.northcreeknurseries.com) generously supplied over 750
plants at a discounted price to the school in an effort to support its
environmental stewardship and educational goals.
Dr. Lorise Goeke, Principal of Helen Morgan School said, "It is exciting to
be a part of a community that is so supportive of education."
Every one of the 648 students in the school will have the opportunity to
place a plant in the garden. Students also started seeds in their classrooms
and transplanted the seedlings to the garden as well. When the children
return to school in the fall, the garden will be in bloom attracting
butterflies, moths and many other insects. Native plants such as Asters,
Goldenrod, Joe Pye Weed and False Indigo will provide food for many of the
131 different kinds of butterflies and moths found in Sussex County. Using
this garden, the students will learn to identify caterpillars and their host
plants. The habitat will contain over 330 milkweed plants of five different
varieties to provide plenty of food for Monarch caterpillars.
Second grade teacher, Joann Ostrowski, is a Monarch butterfly enthusiast and
through the Monarch Teacher's Network and the Geraldine Dodge Foundation has
traveled to Mexico to witness the Monarch migration. She has also made
presentations to the student body about the Monarch butterfly, its
lifecycle, migration and declining habitat.