Pine River School For Young Learners has completed a unique garden project designed to provide habitat for Monarch butterflies. Christened “Butterfly City” by the students at the school, the garden – shaped like a butterfly – has been certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch.
The project started when teacher Laurie Jacoby wrote a grant request to the Merrill Area Community Foundation’s Beyond Crayons and Computers program. The funding received helped to construct the garden, which offers all of the butterflies’ favorite things: Milkweed, nectar sources and shelter.
Students helped collect rocks for the garden, as well as grow some of the plants. Community volunteers also helped with the construction, landscaping and planting. Donations from local nurseries also made the project possible.
“It was nice getting the community and parents involved in it,” Jacoby said.
The school will be seeking another Beyond Crayons and Computers grant this year to make a display case with information about the garden and butterflies. The school is also hoping to get Monarch larvae to introduce into the garden.
“This is very much about hands-on learning,” Jacoby said.