Members of Cub Scout Pack #152, along with their friends and families, gathered at the LECC campus on July 10 to weed, build planter frames, plant flowers, and mulch – all part of creating a monarch butterfly garden.
“Mr. Kohls, LECC principal, graciously allowed us to claim an unused space next to the preschool playground back in May to create a butterfly garden for the children to enjoy,” said Verity Simmons, LECC parent. “The garden now has milkweed for the monarch caterpillars and nectar plants for the adult butterflies and other pollinators, like bees.”
All plants for the project were grown from seed or donated from gardens of friends and family. The Loveland Elementary PTA also generously provided funds to purchase mulch and landscape timbers.
Why a monarch butterfly garden, you may ask? - The population of the Eastern Monarch has declined by 80 percent over the last 20 years. Milkweed is the only plant on which the butterflies lay their eggs and the only food the monarch caterpillars eat. The lack of milkweed due to pesticides, among others, is a major contributing factor to the monarch’s decline. Creating a monarch butterfly garden is part of a greater effort to reverse the alarming trend and to save this beautiful species.
By the time school starts in August, the garden will be used for hands-on experiences and science instruction, and a wonderful place for students and teachers to watch the full life cycle of the monarch. In the fall, the monarchs migrate to Mexico, where they remain for the winter. The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, about 60 miles northwest of Mexico City, is home to millions of monarchs during the winter months. The reserve was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008.
Photo caption: An unused space near the LECC preschool playground has turned into a beautiful monarch butterfly garden!