Prospect Elementary School dedicated its butterfly garden Wednesday morning, four weeks to the day after Mansfield Rotary Club volunteers tilled the soil and installed a timber border.
All Prospect students, kindergarten through third grade, ringed the garden for the brief ceremony. Younger students waved paper butterflies as they sang; older students wore large paper butterfly wings.
The garden is filled with milkweed and other plants that draw Monarch butterflies. It features a colorful scarecrow, made from recyclable materials and wearing a bright orange Prospect T-shirt.
Second-grade teacher Jennifer Jarvis moderated the dedication, thanking the Rotary Club and the 179thAirlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard for their help and support. Students wrote thank-you letters which were presented to the Rotary Club.
In addition to volunteer workers Rotary provided funding for the project. The school also raised money by selling popcorn on Fridays.
The Prospect project is modeled after the butterfly garden created at Sherman Elementary School a few years ago. Students will study the life cycle of Monarchs and their annual migration to Mexico.
Jarvis and fellow Prospect teachers Cindy Logan, Sheryl Shaw, Julie Bohland and Jan Weithman have completed summer Monarch butterfly workshops at the Gorman Nature Center.
Jarvis said earlier the butterfly garden will create many opportunities for classroom learning.
“Where do butterflies go? How far do they travel? Those questions and others can be answered through math, geography and other subjects,” she said.