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We raised money to buy host plants to attract about 6 different species of butterflies. We have planted most of our plants in our local library garden. Some of our plants will attract Monarchs, Pipevine Swallows, Zebra Swallowtails, Buckeyes, Varigated Fitilaries and Black Swallowtails. Since we have a crisis with our honey bees it is important that we help our pollinators survive and by teaching children how to raise and protect these beautiful creatures from egg to butterfly; we also teach them science and empathy for nature. We raised money with a flea market sale, and we also had a local art show with 10 artists at a beauty salon grand opening. Even the Mayor showed up and helped us out. Our money will be used to build a screen in house to protect the caterpillars until they can be released into the gardens as butterflies.
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A group of six members participated in a town center cleanup project. We removed trash from an approximately 1/2 mile stretch of the banks of the Norwalk River, which lies near the town center and the roadside. We managed to collect nearly six black garbage bags full of trash. The bottles and cans that we collected were then recycled. We deposited the trash in a dumpster in town. The trash amassed consisted primarily of plastic bags, bottles, cans, and styrofoam peanuts. Not only did this project aid the human community by beautifying the town center and creating a more attractive and habitable area for Wiltonians, but it also helped the environment. We removed much trash, especially plastic bags, that could potentially harm river wildlife. We are in the process of adopting an area of this river to keep clean through the River Rangers project of the Norwalk River Watershed Association.
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Roots & Shoots members from Burr Elementary School paired up with high school students at Warde High School in Fairfield, Connecticut to demonstrate that reusing can be creative. Students first learned statistics about paper and plastic bags. They discussed how to reduce the use of disposable bags. Then, students gathered recyclables from their own trash at home to create outfits and costumes. They practiced walking the catwalk with their trashy fashions in preparation for the Fairfield Earth Day Celebration held on May 5, 2007. At the Earth Day event, over 20 students walked down the runway. The announcer described how their fashions were created and each model shared their special Earth Day message of conservation with the audience members.
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On April 28, Tom McCall Roots & Shoots sponsored one of our twice yearly community 'clean ups' of our McCall Forest, a one acre forested area connected to our school. This was a collaborative event with a statewide environmental volunteer program (SOLV )and over 50 community members participated! It was a beautiful spring day that was spent removing invasive plants, weeding, mulching, planting native trees and plants, developing trails, installing bat house and maintaining bird & squirrel feeders. A major focus was expanding our butterfly wildflower garden, which is now planted with milkweed (a absolutely necessary plant in the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly). We have recently received a small grant to help establish a "Monarch" station, as part of the effort to re-establish this butterfly into our area again. Over 14 trees and 30 shrubs were planted, some of which were salvaged from old farm house that is soon to be destroyed. It was an extremely successful day that really enhanced our forest 'outdoor classroom'!
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The children cut out bandannas for the dogs adopted at CAPS animal shelter and made catnip toys for the cats at the shelter to enjoy. Additionally, the children brought in and unfolded newspaper for the shelter workers to use in the dogs' cages.
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South Shore Roots & Shoots volunteered at Alley Pond Environmental Center and planted trees. Each member dug holes and planted two trees. We made bird feeders, took a nature walk and saw a video on the history of Arbor Day. The group enjoyed the center and we agreed on going back to volunteer with other activities.
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The children from our school collected gently used books to deliver to the Mission of Yahweh, a shelter for battered women and children.
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The parents and students from our school devote an hour or so one Sunday a month to help feed the homeless of Houston through the Lord of the Streets program.
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Children and parents gathered 17 pounds of food for donation to FSA of Redlands.
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The Earth Savers Roots & Shoots Group met on April 27th, 2007 to celebrate trees. We read the story, "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, made tree door hangers for each child's bedroom, and shared poems and songs that the children either wrote themselves or chose from books. The children also made "tree sculptures" in which they posed as a particular type of tree and had their photos taken. We even had a "forest." It was a wonderful way to celebrate trees and all that they mean to us as humans.

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