Over the weekend of June 10th, students from the Gardening Enrichment Program at Shelton Intermediate School undertook a significant project to install a new pollinator garden at the back entrance of the school. Members of the community, ORGC, and local Boy Scouts turned out to help.
Students started arriving before 9:00 am to inventory the delivered plants. The beds were designed by a professional garden designer, and the team worked off color-coded maps.
The plants selected are native varieties important for numerous pollinators, ranging from Monarch butterflies to honeybees. The cultivars include Butterfly Weed, New England Aster, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Black Eyed Susan, Phlox, Coreopsis, and Purple Coneflower. Stepping stones were incorporated to allow students access to the plants for watering. Both sides of the divided garden also host water basins — crucial features for butterflies and birds.
Teacher Eric Wolf, who leads the Gardening Enrichment Program, expects that the garden will not only benefit a variety of pollinators but also students in other disciplines at the school, including biology and art.
ORGC was proud to donate $500 toward the garden, and we’re thrilled to see the exuberance toward ecology and horticulture in Shelton.
The Gardening Enrichment Program is a highly successful initiative to introduce gardening and ecology topics to students through hands-on activities. Shelton Intermediate School includes an indoor aquaponic system (the combination of traditional hydroponic gardening with a fish enclosure providing fertilization), a greenhouse, raised bed gardens, and (as of June 10th) a butterfly garden. Students participate in all steps of vegetable gardening, from planting seeds through harvesting crops. Shelton’s program has served as a model and inspiration for similar programs in other towns.