The butterfly garden is located near the bus garage by the Intermediate Wing of the school. It has benches on each side.
A variety of plants were put in to appeal to butterflies, but bees, wasps, beetles, flies, and other insects visit as well. Dragonflies swoop down to snatch small insects in midair. The best time to visit the garden is mid to late summer on warm, sunny days.
Since butterflies are very alert to movement, it is best to sit still and wait for them to land on flowers nearby. People who study butterflies approach them slowly and use binoculars to observe from about 5 to 10 feet away. It is useful to bring a butterfly field guide to help identify the different species. Knowing what you are looking at increases the pleasure of watching these delicate creatures. Each butterfly has unique characteristics, such as color patterns, the way they fly, the preferred plant to lay eggs on, and its life cycle. Some migrate, some stay over winter, and some live for one year.
Understanding the life cycle of butterflies is part of our science curriculum and the butterfly garden is an excellent resource for teachers and students.
In Spring of 2014, a project was started to improve the Butterfly Garden. A birdbath, stepping stones, and perimeter fence were put in. The fence is intended to prevent students and visitors from trampling the flowers and plants during recess or after school hours. Students helped transplant and plant new flowers and a plant inventory was undertaken to identify and label all desirable plants. Over time, the Butterfly Garden will become even better as students and staff use it for learning activities. Rabbits and woodchucks now visit the fenced in area. A woodchuck hole appeared under a bush in 2015. Usually, woodchucks have multiple entrances, so who knows where the other entrances come out!
In the Spring of 2017, Mr. Hart's students put in a path lined with weed fabric and covered with wood chips to walk through the Butterfly Garden. They worked very hard on this project!