Our gardening wish is to provide campus beautification, continue to increase our native, nectar/pollinator, and milkweed population, engage students and teachers in outdoor gardening, and provide a physical habitat for both caterpillar and adult butterflies, especially the Monarch.
Riverfield Roots & Shoots members have grown accustomed to gardening, composting, and helping take care of the campus environment. Before this season's planting began, we removed invasive, non-native plants and last year's dead growth from the fifteen beds we are tasked with maintaining. After cleaning out all the various garden beds and taking the unwanted plant material to our composting pile, we started planting. To make our gardens friendlier to native pollinators such as bees, moths and butterflies, we planted a variety of native plants throughout campus. Our flower beds serve several purposes: beauty for our visitors and families to enjoy, nectar sources for local butterflies and migratory Monarchs, and host plants for caterpillars. We are a certified Monarch WayStation and continue to plant a variety of milkweeds that are host plants for indigenous Black Swallowtails, Variegated Fritillaries, and Cloudless Sulphurs. Our nearly dozen species of nectar sources include Pentas, Perennial Lantanas, Mexican Sunflowers, Liatris, Ironweed and Joe-Pye Weed, Plus Phlox and Asters.