On Tuesday, November 28th, 100 fourth grade students from R Roger Rowe School got their hands dirty by planting native California pollinator plants throughout their campus, bringing more life and color to their school days while providing food and resting areas for butterflies and other vital pollinators.
It was a team effort: The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) facilitated the project, the California Native Plant Society provided the Conservancy with a grant which paid for the plants, Greg Rubin from California’s Own Native Plant Landscape Design provided design guidance, Habitat West helped ready the holes, the plants came from Moosa Creek Nursery and staff at R Roger Rowe school will care for the plants while the 4th grade students were in charge of the planting.
The Conservancy is planting three pollinator gardens this fall. The first was at the Plaza De Arroyo in Escondido along Escondido Creek; R Roger Rowe was the second, a later garden will be installed at the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center. The Conservancy hopes to install additional pollinator gardens at other Escondido Creek watershed schools.
Pollinators, which include butterflies, moths, and other insects, are in peril around the globe for a variety of reasons including habitat loss. By planting 113 native plants loved by pollinators, R Roger Rowe students were both thinking globally and acting locally. Some of the plant species included Narrow-leafed Milkweed, Canyon Sunflower, and Pozo Blue Sage.
“As the Science Lab Teacher for K-4th, I am very excited that my students were able to take part in planting the school pollinator garden with plants native to San Diego County. We look forward to watching them all grow over the winter,” said Elena Colvin, R Roger Rowe School, “In the spring, when the plants bloom and attract pollinating animals, it will be just in time for our Ecosystem Unit in which we study the relationships between plants and animals.”
“With this hands-on approach, students are able to participate in the habitat restoration process and learn the value of native plants for local wildlife, all without leaving their school,” said Simon Breen, Education Manager of the Conservancy.