photo(41)Have you seen any National Park Rangers patrolling the hallways? Class 2-2 is participating in a special gardening and habitat restoration program in conjunction with the National Parks Service. The program includes two field trips to Gateway National Park in Far Rockaway as well as classroom visits and funding for the school.  “Growing a Wild Brooklyn and Queens” is a one-yearphoto(38) educational experience offered by a coalition of groups, including Eco-Schools and the National Wildlife Foundation. Funded by a National Park Foundation Impact Grant, the program aims to help native pollinators-such as the monarch butterfly, as well as native birds, bees anphoto(37)d other insects- recover their habitats from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy and other extreme weather, and from other threats, such as widespread pesticide use and pollution. In September, Ranger Michelle and her team came to the classroom to teach us how to dry seeds and demonstrate how pollination works with a cool pollinator + plant game. This week, the class (along with 4 grandparents!) will visit Gateway National Park sections of Jamaica Bay with Ranger Michelle and collect seeds from milkweed and other photo(43)native pollinator-friendly plants.In the coming months, we’ll use the seeds to grow seedlings–some of which will go in the school garden alongside other native plants. Stay tuned for more butterfly habitat news!

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