Over the last few years, club members have become increasingly aware of the plight of the Monarch butterfly, the numbers of which are declining rapidly due to loss of natural habitat. The endangerment of butterflies and other pollinators present a great learning opportunity when studying land stewardship, climate change, and how insects live and thrive. Bloom & Grow members have embarked on a Monarch preservation project to encourage students and their families to join the effort. Together with partners Healthy West Orange and Orlando Health, Oakland Avenue Charter School has joined the school partnership program developed for public and private schools in Orange County.
OACS staff picked up waystations on October 13th to create two locations for milkweed. Tropical milkweed, native milkweed, and pollinator plants are grown specifically for this project by local nurseries who support Bloom & Grow’s various community programs. Each waystation contains 10 plants which are essential to the lifecycle of a Monarch. Bloom & Grow experts assist in identifying a location for the gardens to ensure sunlight, access to watering, and more.
The cost of these plants is covered by partner Orlando Health. A kit of materials essential to maintaining a successful butterfly garden including print materials, netting, and installation instructions is provided by partner Healthy West Orange. A member of Bloom & Grow is assigned as a liaison to each partner school to assist with information on planting, troubleshooting, disseminating information to parents wishing to garden at home, etc.
The mission of The Bloom and Grow Garden Society is: “To stimulate a knowledge and love of gardening through promotion and sponsorship of community projects and the protection and sustainability of native habitat; to promote and sponsor educational horticultural experiences and civic involvement.”