There's a new garden on campus! The Bethany Children's Pollinator Garden was initiated on Arbor Day last Spring behind BethAnna Cottage. A pollinator garden is planted with flowering perennial plants native to our region that are known to attract and host pollinators, most notably bees and butterflies. Last Spring, students at Bethany learned about pollinators and their importance, including that 1 in every 3 bites of food they consume and 75-85% of the world’s flowering plants are made possible with the help of pollinator animals. They also learned how many pollinators are in need of protection from species decline due primarily to habitat loss.
Above: Pollinator Garden at 4 months old
Below: Various stages of installation, student service learning and garden engagement
The garden is by and for students: Bethany 7th and 8th graders broke ground (literally!), toiling with determination and might to turn over the soil to break up the compacted earth. Students in the Eco-Hawks Club layered the new garden plot with wheelbarrows full of food waste compost from GoZERO Services, the same company who collects the kitchen waste from the Community of the Transfiguration’s convent and retreat center and turns it into nutrient-rich compost. During the Pollinator Picnic Summer Camp, 1st - 4th grade students helped to establish the garden’s plants and built bat houses. This fall, Eco Club students from grades K - 2 will continue to tend the garden and build a Bug Hotel to provide winter habitat to the garden helpers.
Above: Monarch butterflies were recently recognized on an endangered species list, and our new garden is a registered Monarch Waystation due to the inclusion of two species of milkweed, the butterfly's only host plant.