Students planting flowers for the pollinator garden

In an effort to help save the Monarch Butterflies, Black Mountain Primary is building a new garden specific to the insects' needs. 

Students, teachers, and community members have been working together in front of the school planting a variety of flowers that the butterflies are attracted to. The school also has its very own butterfly house. Caterpillars are kept there as they go through the different stages to transform into a butterfly. Students have the opportunity to observe the process as it happens. This is just a small piece of what the school is doing to help build up the butterfly population. 

“This experience is great for the students to be a part of,” said second grade teacher Paula Schlenk. “The kids are learning about the ways they can take care of the butterflies since they are on the endangered species list.”

Students are eager to see the development of the insects in the butterfly house, and excited to get their hands dirty. 

“Everyday they cannot wait to go to the butterfly house and see what is happening,” said Ms. Schlenk. “Soon we will get to see the butterflies flying around the house. Once that happens we will mark the butterflies with a tracking device to observe their daily behaviors.” 

This experience would not be possible without the help of community members. Emily Sampson, with Patchwork Meadows, has dedicated hours coming to the school to teach the students about the insects. Patchwork Meadows graciously donated the plants for the garden.

“The pollinator garden will eventually have 15 different species of plants growing,” Ms. Sampson explained. “Each plant attracts the monarch butterflies along with other insects to the area. This is just a tiny piece of what we all can do to help the ecosystem.”

Caterpillar in the Butterfly house.

Students working on the building of the pollinator garden.