A Summer Stars class at Pinewood worked with Grade 4 Teacher Mrs. Michelle Evans to create a NYS certified pollinator garden as part of the school’s Peace Garden.
“We studied how our pollinators are rapidly declining due to pesticides, hive damage and mites,” Mrs. Evans said. “We decided to build the garden pesticide-free with entirely endangered native plants to encourage a safe space for our pollinators (which we learned goes so far beyond bees and butterflies and even includes small animals and mammals like mice).”
As the plants send out new shoots, Mrs. Evans will send them home with her new classes in the hopes of rewilding and saving some of these endangered plants and creatures.
“One of the plants, the nodding onion, was used by the Algonquians to flavor their food right here on this very land,” Evans said. “It’s truly been an amazing and rewarding experience so much more than I thought it would be.”
The kids studied, built the frame using power tools, planned the square footage, planted seeds and watered it.
“The master gardeners I met at Schenectady greenmarket have been an incredible resource testing the soil, advising which plants are best, advising on the already established areas and donating safe native plants,” she said.
There are plans to expand the butterfly garden and plant three sister crops while students study the Iriquois’ during Social Studies.