Native Habitat Garden Planting- Take Two!

Big Thank You to Mr. Burkhouse, Mr. Goul, Mrs. Warren and Mrs. Harris for bringing their classes out last Friday to participate in the Supplemental planting in the Habitat Garden (which is located adjacent to the vegetable garden)! Thanks also to the DFW for sending Colin to help us out!

Planted last year thanks to a Grant from the Department of Fish and Wildlife in conjunction with the efforts of Phoebe Parent and DFW Biologist Valary Bloom and Teachers Mr. Burkhouse and Mrs. Stowers- this space is dedicated to plants native to our area. These plantings require no fertilizer and very little water and help attract and support native pollinators providing: food, shelter and even breeding grounds for the birds, butterflies and bees and other essential insects. The plantings are designed to have an informal and inviting feel and attract not only insects but Students and their teachers! We love to see the boulders and the garden beds covered in Students working on their journals or documenting/tracking changes throughout the changing seasons. This project has been several years in the making and the original planting took place at the end of last school year just weeks before the hot, dry Summer. As expected the harsh weather took a toll on the newly planted natives and we experienced a die back of about 30%. Not to fear! The DFW Grant covered this aspect of the project and the supplemental planting last Friday was a big success! All the wet weather we have coming our way means that the Native plants should have plenty of water throughout the Winter and Spring to establish strong root systems and flourish.

While going over the benefits of a Native Garden many of the students were excited by the prospect of seeing wildlife on the Phoebe Campus! There were many students who were excited about the Deer Grass and One optimistic student wondered aloud if we might see Monkeys- attracted (of course) by the Sticky Monkey Flower!! We can now add imagination to the list of benefits of having a Native Plant Habitat Garden on our Campus!!

Ask your students what they have learned or experienced in the Native Habitat Garden! Did they help with the planting last year or the supplemental planting last week? For more information about this type of Garden please visit http://www.cnps.org/cnps/grownative/habitat/ or find Valary Bloom around campus!

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