Both kindergarten and middle school students at The Learning Center Charter School spent several days in early May planting pollinator gardens on campus. A pollinator garden is planted predominately with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a wide range of pollinating insects.
Pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, bees, flies and beetles are essential to creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems that many animals rely on for food and shelter. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, pollination helps at least 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of wild plants to thrive. Without pollinators, many plants and food crops would die off.
Students at the charter school have designated numerous plots on the campus as pollinator gardens. They have planted sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, marigolds, bachelor buttons, cosmos and four o’clock flowers in these gardens. They have done everything from weed, rake, plant, label and water these gardens and look forward to seeing gorgeous flowers bloom all summer long.
Gardening has always been important at the school as Director, Mary Jo Dyre, believes that gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn. Dyre has built a culture at the school on the premise that gardens are living laboratories that encourage students to become active participants in the learning process.
School Outdoor Learning Coordinator, Emily Willey, said, “In this instance, students have learned the science behind pollination for insects, birds and plants as well as the importance of it for food production. The blooms beautifying the campus are an added bonus.”