St. Joseph Catholic School Monarch Butterfly Rescue Grant Program May Update

This post was contributed by Ashley Davis, NCEA Monarch Grant Program Teacher Leader.

It is May and we have started planting and transplanting in our garden!

Before having Grace and going on maternity leave, I had the pleasure of meeting with a monarch pro.  Her name is Kitty and she runs a huge monarch butterfly farm at the Botanical Gardens in our town.  She came out to the butterfly site on our campus and gave some pointers on what to grow and how to space things and what to do with our center spot.  We are excited to use all the knowledge that she has given us.

While on maternity leave, I have scheduled times to come up to school with different classes and teach using the garden while we work.

We recently had first graders working with our third graders in our butterfly garden to spread dirt and plant.

St. Joseph Catholic School 5

We hauled and spread bags of topsoil and a truckload of soil and mulch.  We are so thankful for the donation of a truckload of soil and mulch by a community member.  DBAR Livestock, we could not have filled our huge area with soil and mulch without you!

The first graders paired with our third graders to get the job done.  Our third graders enjoyed mentoring to the younger students.  While that was going on, baby Grace enjoyed the sunshine and the chatter of the big Saint Joe Panthers as we all worked.

Our Saint Joe Panthers worked together to plant donated plants as well as plants we have purchased for our garden.  We are so thankful for the donations and the community and parent support.  It feels so great to see everyone working together to make this project a success!  This great group of first graders  LOVED working in the garden.  They did some weeding and helped plant.  They also measured the growth of our milkweed seedlings which are inside.  It is awesome to see how these seedlings have grown!  They are almost ready for transplanting and we will do so this week!!!

We LOVE getting our hands dirty for such a great project.  We are so excited and ready to meet our monarchs!!!!

Learn more about St. Joseph Catholic School’s Monarch butterfly activities and more on Facebook.

St. Joseph Catholic School in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is a recipient of the NCEA Monarch Rescue Grant.  Grantee schools will share monthly updates on their efforts in researching, planning, building, and maintaining the very best monarch-friendly butterfly gardens possible.  They will monitor the success or failure of the garden, learning from problems they encounter to plan improvements in subsequent years.  Most important, the developing learning modules will incorporate Catholic social teaching on stewardship of the resources God has provided us.

Follow the Monarch butterfly conversation using #NCEAMonarch, search NCEA Talk using keyword Monarch Butterfly Rescue and view the Monarch Inspiration Gallery on Pinterest.