Freedom Students Build Monarch Waystation Garden

Freedom Students Help Build Monarch Waystation Garden
Posted on 05/17/2018
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photo collage of Freedom monarch waystation gardenFreedom students Pranav Khadkikar, Holden Burgess, and Siddharth Khadkikar came to Principal Lance Green two years ago with a proposal to build a LifeLAB Monarch Waystation garden on school grounds. After getting approval, the students and their families went right to work building the Waystation. They even built a little Lakota history into the garden, using bricks from the former Union Elementary school.

Now the garden is a reality, providing teachers with a myriad of learning opportunities to bring classroom lessons to life. It's part of the Green S.T.E.A.M. movement engaging students in environment-based projects. 

Students can make observations (including nature journalism, poetry, and art), collect data, learn about ecology and conservation, take soil samples, and observe the life-cycles of butterflies and ladybugs in nature. Students can also learn about our most important pollinators and the annual monarch migration from Mexico to the northernmost parts of America. 

The Waystation is on a national registry to preserve monarchs and includes a variety of indigenous host and nectar plants to host endangered monarch butterflies. “In its first season, the small 200 square foot garden hosted over 100 monarch and swallowtail caterpillars,” said parent Aparna Khadkikar. “It was a lot of fun for visitors and children to witness caterpillars growing, butterflies laying eggs, caterpillars metamorphosing into pupa, and butterflies sipping nectar.”

To learn more about the Freedom LifeLAB Monarch Waystation, feel free to contact Aparna Khadkikar at apkhadkikar@gmail.com, or Holly Burgess at hdburgess@aol.com.