PS 84 has been declared a certified Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch. Monarch Watch is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration.
Monarch waystations provide milkweeds, nectar plants and shelter for monarchs throughout their annual cycle of reproduction and migration. By creating and maintaining our Monarch Waystation, PS 84 is contributing to monarch conservation and helping to support the continuation of monarch migration in North America.
Our waystation designation was the culmination of our PS 84 Monarch Garden program, which was funded by a grant from the Wild Ones Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education program. Through the program, last spring our kindergarten classes learned all about monarchs and got to watch their very own classroom monarch larva transform from caterpillar to chrysalis and butterfly.
The monarch learning experience included a variety of activities ranging from daily journaling and art projects to reading about monarchs and choreographing a dance about the life cycle of monarchs as part of New York City Center Encores dance program.
The highlight of the program was seeing the monarchs emerge from their chrysalis. One student exclaimed it was a “miracle” they would remember forever. We are looking forward to bringing this “miracle” to more students this June. Our kindergarten classes will once again raise classroom caterpillars and our older students will also have the chance to observe the monarchs in our science lab.
On Saturday April 27th, PS84 families joined forces with Citizen’s Committee of New York City and Verizon’s Green Team Volunteers to transform an area of the Interactive Garden on 91st Street into: “The Butterfly Garden”.
A log was moved, pavers were installed, but best of all, 52 beautiful native plants from Glover Farms, LI were installed in their new home, the PS84 Butterfly Garden. We planted: Milkweed, liatris, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, echinacea, silphium, little blue stem, and goldenrod (no, not the one that causes allergies!) Come see!
With perfect weather on our side, it was a pleasure to be surrounded by such wonderful people, great kids, and a spring energy that inspires everyone to enjoy our little space of green in our asphalt saturated city. Our Kindergarteners now have a real butterfly habitat to set free their butterflies; they are raising Painted Lady Butterflies now, and will be raising Monarch Butterflies in June. This fall, we hope to witness our butterfly habitat alive with caterpillars, chrysalis, and Monarchs.
A five year dream come true, our butterfly garden is now a reality. A BIG thank you to Verizon Green Team and NYC Citizen’s Committee for their hard work and for funding this project. Thank you to Paige Keck of Foras-Studios, our native species specialist and horticulturalist, for carefully choosing these perfect plants. We are on our way to becoming a Monarch Way-station.
The sparrows that have taken home in Ms. Windeman’s birdhouses above the butterfly garden have a new front garden…..let’s hope they learn that caterpillars don’t taste so good!
On November 16th, 2012, the students of PS 84 planted 300 crocus, snow-drops, and daffodil bulbs in their garden. Despite the cold weather and monumental challenge of planting so many bulbs, the kids had an amazing time. In a few months, the kids will see the results of their hard work. Can’t wait! Click on the images to enlarge the pictures.
Some of the tools used to plant the bulbs.
The bulbs are ready to go! There’s so many things the students of PS 84 learned today!
They learned the difference between bulbs and seeds. Bulbs produce flowers quickly and are basically foolproof, while seeds can take up to 2 years to bloom! This makes bulbs the perfect choice for gardening with kids.
The students learned the difference between the top and bottom of the bulbs. Pictured is the top.
This is the bottom of the bulb. They learned not to confuse the two when putting it in the ground. They didn’t want to have tulips growing upside down!
During next step, the children learned how far to dig the hole. The garden teacher told the children four inches deep. These transporting trowels, which come with measuring marks, made it easy for the kids to know how deep to dig.
The last step was simple: cover the bulbs back up with soil, water them, and wait for spring!
The Fifth Graders were challenged with a Math Problem:
How many different ways can you create equal rows of 120 bulbs?
They worked in teams, used their knowledge of arrays, showed their work, drew up their plans and presented them to their classmates. The class voted on their favorite layout, and the winning team came up with an astounding amount of different ways to arrange 120 bulbs. On Dec 2nd the fifth graders planted all 120 bulbs in the east garden of the front entrance. We are looking forward to seeing the flowers blooming in March! Great Job!