I want to raise awareness about the benefits of native plants to the environment and how they can be used in gardens to enhance any community. By starting a native plant butterfly and bee garden on campus, I hope to expand the project to most, if not all, of the planters and green space on campus. Native plants require less water and less upkeep, which will help reduce water usage and help save money. They are also beautiful and can help improve any area that needs green space as well as support native insects and birds.
Our project will continue to help maintain our current native flower garden and help us expand from the small planter we currently use to the much bigger planter that it is next to. We have taken one small planter that had very poor dirt where nothing would grow and have added nutrients and native plants. Our native plants have thrived in this small planter and we have seen numerous bees, caterpillars, butterflies and hummingbirds in our little garden. We would like to add a bird bath and we want plant more native plants as well as create signs that will tell the name of each plant, which will help educate the staff and students on campus as to what plants are being planted on campus. In addition, we want to apply to become a Monarch Waystation once we have finished with the larger planter.
I teach students with mild/moderate learning disabilities and we collaborate with the AP Environmental Science classes on campus to help plan and maintain our native garden. This project will help further that collaboration and continue the relationships that my students have with the students in the AP Environmental Science classes.