July 1, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.

Sunrise School butterfly garden expands as part of end of the year student project

Sunrise School butterfly garden expands as part of end of the year student project
Sunrise School butterfly garden expands as part of end of the year student project

With the help of some local generosity, hard work by an Eagle Scout and friends, and a dedicated third grade class, the Sunrise River School's butterfly garden has greatly expanded, and local students are already caring for and using the space. Eagle Scout Rob Hatch undertook the project of expanding the garden and organized the Scouts in his troop to assist, and donations from the city of North Branch, local Rotary, Branch landscaping, Hatch and a grant from the University of Minnesota made it happen. Teacher Barbara Siqueiros had students research nine native butterflies during the month of May and generate the list of native plants purchased using the U of M grant. They worked most of June 10 and the morning of June 11 planting the garden. Along the way, Siqueiros received advice from Dawn White, a member of Chisago County Master Gardeners, and a great deal of support from principal Jason Hartmann. Fellow teacher Jane Aslakson's class raised marigolds to donate to the garden.

The garden is now more than double its original size and Siqueiros and her "Butterflies, Caterpillars, and Dragonflies, Oh My!" community education class students were busy all last week putting finishing touches on the new educational garden. On Thursday, they released a handful of Painted Ladies butterflies into the garden.


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