Hang In There, Ms. Butterfly!
The pilot program, Growing A Wild Brooklyn & Queens, which includes 2-2 and 11 other local classes, just got a big boost! U.S. Fish and Wildlife pledged 2 million dollars toward the National Wildlife Federation efforts to help rescue Monarch butterflies via schools.
Click here to see the NBC Nightly News segment featuring PS 179 students who are doing the same program as 2-2. Students learn by improving pollinator habitats–their immediate school yards as well as their local national parks–so that Monarch butterflies have food and breeding conditions, during their epic migration from Mexico to Canada.
Why are Monarch butterflies, and other pollinators, important? Bees, skippers and butterflies help plants reproduce. We need pollinators to have food. If pollinators aren’t supported, the food supply suffers.
One big step in conserving the Monarch (who is under consideration for the endangered species list), besides growing milkweed and other pollinator-friendly plants in your backyard: avoid the use of chemical pesticides. Wide-spread use of pesticides is a major cause of the plummeting Monarch population.
In a couple weeks, class 2-2 will be planting seeds collected in the fall in the classroom to be transplanted to Gateway National Park and the Children’s School non-edible garden on Denton Place.