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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lewisville, Texas, USA

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lewisville, Texas, USA
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Registered: November 2017
City/Town/Province: Sanger
Posts: 1
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Building a Butterfly Garden
My name is Lauren Peña and I am 18 years old. I live in North Texas and I’ve loved nature since I was a young girl. I always enjoyed days more when I spent them outside. Over the past couple of years my love for nature has increased and I’ve become educated about environmental issues through school projects and my exposure to the real world. I have started forming opinions and ideas of how I could change my actions to decrease the negative impact I have on the planet. Through my discoveries and desire to do more, I stumbled upon this scholarship opportunity. I knew immediately that I wanted to participate because of my love for the environment and my financial need for college.
After deciding I wanted to participate in this scholarship opportunity, I went to my Environmental Systems teacher to inquire about what I should do and he recommended a butterfly garden. We talked about the decrease in their migratory patterns to the North Texas area previously in class, so I knew this project would be perfect for the scholarship. I began research, figured out and gathered all of the supplies I needed, then contacted the engineers at the Fort Worth district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These engineers take care of the lakes in my area and I thought that would be a perfect landscape for the butterfly garden. After setting up a meeting, they took us to two flowerbeds in front of a building they had recently purchased. They were in the middle of renovations and once they heard about my project, they quickly offered it for the garden. This worked out perfectly, because the flowerbeds were in the perfect location. The garden had a building behind it to block any weather that could uproot the plants, and the sun hits the area at just the right amount. On November 25th of 2017 I gathered up a group of American Heritage Girls, as well as a few others, and we quickly got to work. First we cleaned up the beds by clearing the area of weeds, leaves, and any other things we didn’t want there. The rock bordering the beds were shifted oddly so we began fixing them to encapsulate the soil better. After moving the soil and mulch already in the bed, we noticed that it was not sufficient enough for the seeds. My dad went to the nearby home depot and picked up soil sufficient enough for the job. We mixed the soil in the flower beds and cleaned up the area a little bit more to make it look nicer. Next, we placed a flat rock in each of the flowerbeds. My research showed that butterflies are coldblooded and enjoy sunbathing. I also discovered that butterflies enjoy puddling. I bought a terra cotta dish and filled it with rocks, dirt, and water. We placed in a shaded part of the flowerbed. Afterwards, we placed a sign that says “Butterfly Garden” near the door of the building. After finishing everything, all that was left was spreading the seeds. After spreading the seeds, we made sure to pack it in after by walking over them. After we cleaned up our supplies, trash, and watered everything, the garden was then complete.
Butterflies migrate in flocks to the North Texas area to get ready for winter, but in the past three years their numbers have decreased significantly. The need for butterfly gardens have risen in this area, leading to the execution of this project. It provides a beautiful landscape for visitors, as well as the employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to admire; especially around this time next year. Leading this project has inspired me to do a lot more for my community throughout college, especially because there is so much we can do. This project has also helped develop my leadership skills as well as problem solving skills. I believe this project was beneficial to myself, the volunteers who helped me, and the butterflies who will enjoy it next year.
Date: November 28, 2017 Views: 2274 File size: 14.4kb, 3159.2kb : 4032 x 3024
Hours Volunteered: 7
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 12 to 19
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