By: Dawn Cranston, Elementary Principal
The South Baldwin Chamber Foundation awarded SBCA with two grants that will be used for hands-on outdoor learning.
One grant was awarded for a butterfly garden. The courtyard planter boxes will be planted with plants designed to attract butterflies. The butterfly host plants will be a place where the butterflies can lay their eggs and where their larvae will be able to feed as they grow.
Elementary students will study the role of the butterfly as a pollinator and the effects of habitat loss on this population. They will spend time researching the plants, determine a planting schedule, and participate in the planting and maintenance of the garden. All teachers and students will enjoy the butterfly garden and use the space as an outdoor classroom for hands-on, multi-disciplinary activities.
Junior Emma Harrod assisted in writing the middle and high school grant. This grant will allow SBCA to purchase a greenhouse and a composting system as well as other gardening tools. All age groups will benefit from this project as they learn about gardening from many stages: composting, seed planting, germination, replanting, maintenance, and harvesting.
The garden and greenhouse will function as both an outdoor “classroom” and science lab. Middle and high school classes will start with a small garden this spring and expand each year.