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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Zionsville Community High School, Zionsville, Indiana, USA

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Zionsville Community High School, Zionsville, Indiana, USA
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Registered: December 2014
City/Town/Province: Zionsville
Posts: 1
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My name is Alysa and I am the president of my school’s environmental club: Project Green. In previous years my school’s courtyards had been neglected and overrun with crickets and wasps. As a club, Project Green decided that we would like to take one of the courtyards and transform it into a butterfly garden which would serve as a refuge for insects, animals and students alike. Though this project was not originally intended to be used for this scholarship it serves as an excellent example of promoting biodiversity in a local community.
In the fall of 2013 we began clearing and trimming the overgrown and invasive plants with tools brought in by members of the group. We had no idea if we could make our idea of a butterfly garden into a reality, but we were determined to try. Walking into that overgrown courtyard the first day was a bit scary and very intimidating. The place was infested with crickets, the trees had some sort of infection, the statues were falling apart, and there were wasps nests in three different places. We set to work with tools that club members had brought from home, cut back some of the things that were overgrown, and did our best to loosen the rocky soil to prepare for planting in the spring
Eventually it got too cold to work so we all took our tools home. As spring approached we raised money and applied for a small grant, which we received, and were able to buy the plants and tools we needed.
One important aspect of our project was to make sure all of the plants were native to our area. This is just one reason it is very important to continue to take care of this courtyard. By promoting the growth of native plants that are becoming endangered (such as milkweed which is a host plant to the endangered monarch butterfly), we promote the growth of native endangered species that are being pushed out and overgrown by invasive species.
This is garden is important to the community because it demonstrates the importance of biodiversity in the environment. It is also important because it transformed an avoided place into one sought after as an outdoor classroom, all the while making the high school more environmentally friendly. It also allows students to learn more about the native plant and insect species of their area.
Through this project I have learned how important a diverse ecosystem is and how important it is to protect all native species. This project has inspired me to educate others on these important principles as well as to learn more about my native environment. I hope to someday return to my high school and see a thriving community of plants, butterflies and other insects, and know that I have done a great thing for my home: the planet Earth.
· Date: December 27, 2014 · Views: 1651 · File size: 12.4kb, 57.1kb · : 644 x 327 ·
Hours Volunteered: 110
Volunteers: 11
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 & 14 to 18
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