The Butterfly Project
Last week, Dahlonegah students, instructed by Mrs. Phyllis Kimble, participated in a butterfly release in Dahlonegah school garden. The students had raised the butterflies for several weeks through the four stages, eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult butterfly. The students used two different habitats one mimicked the natural environment and the other was a more scientific environment the students had created.
The Butterfly garden is not only important for the Dahlonegah school garden habitat but it can increase student engagement and curiosity in the classroom. By planting a butterfly garden students have created an interactive classroom to interact with and be engaged in, the natural world. This butterfly project outdoor classroom worked as a tool to incorporate hands-on activities for many subjects. Many students do not spend their time outdoors; providing them a garden that can be used by the school for garden programs can give them an opportunity to be outside and interact with nature. By planting a garden in our school students are able to develop a connection with the outdoors from an early age. This enriching experience for the students will be something that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives.
The butterfly release was purposely timed to coincide with the summer school garden program, "Pollinators in the Garden."
It is important to understand what a pollinator is and the importance of pollinators to our environment. The butterfly garden project helped students understand butterflies as pollinators and their general behaviors and lifestyles.
Pollinators are very important in the reproduction and diversity of plants to help maintain a balanced ecosystem. Although pollinators only help to fertilize plants so that they are able to produce flowers and fruit there are other economical and environmental impacts of pollination. Many agricultural crops are dependent upon pollinators and without them there would be a drastic decrease in the amount of “fruits and berries, alfalfa, and vegetable and flower seeds” available to the public.