This begins my third school year volunteering with Champion Middle School's after-school science club. Meeting two hours every other Thursday with an average of twenty sixth through eighth graders, we have both learned and accomplished many things. Our main focus has been the revitalization of an eight-raised bed garden area behind the school. Besides growing a variety of vegetables for tasting and donating to a local food pantry, with a grant received from Monarchs Across Georgia and US Fish & Wildlife Services, we installed a certified pollinator habitat. This habitat provides not only host and nectar plants, but other features such as puddling and basking sites for our pollinators. We also employ techniques (mulching, composting, no pesticides, etc.) to be environmentally friendly.
The pollinator habitat has afforded us with opportunities to observe butterfly life cycles and the pollination process, and to contribute data to the Great Sunflower Project and the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project.