Knapp Forest Elementary
This project's goal was to restore habitats for local insects, butterflies, and birds on the school campus. Students did this by incorporating native plants into the children’s garden and by adding bird houses and baths. In addition, students restored an area that was once covered by a portable classroom by planting a pollinator garden. The art class created, painted, and designed bricks with peaceful messages to divide the garden from the surrounding grass. Not only will this project increase habitats for local insects, butterflies, and birds but it will also increase students’ appreciation for beauty and provide them natural subjects they can draw and describe.
The content standards for this project focused on informational reading and writing. Students formed teams based on topic of interest and wrote an argument/opinion paragraph about why their topic and solution were most beneficial to the environmental community at Knapp Forest. Community partners and Knapp Forest stakeholders met with students to think through and improve their proposed solution before students created a final presentation of their ideas. Their ideas were then used to plant the pollinator garden and revamp the Children’s garden at Knapp Forest.
Fostering Lifelong Stewardship:
Local neighbors had complained that the building of our elementary school wiped out the local plants and insect, butterfly, and bird populations. The implementation of our pollinator garden taught kids that the landscape around us does more than just ‘look pretty’. It encouraged kids to think about what they plant in our yards, how they impact the environment, and what they can do to make a difference.
Knapp Valley Gardens, Knapp Forest PTO, Michelle Bassett, Business Consultant/Grant Writer
GVSU College of Education, Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative