- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - A year and half after it was struck by a tornado, Mintonye Elementary School is almost entirely recovered. The building looks fresh and polished, with new floors and windows. But there’s one thing that wasn’t rebuilt.

The butterfly garden.

“We had an observatory butterfly garden with benches, and there were flowers and plants that were there to attract butterflies,” Kristy Delp, a kindergarten teacher at Mintonye, told the Journal & Courier (https://on.jconline.com/1HuaOJp ).

The garden, where students played among the plants for more than a decade, was destroyed by a tornado November 17, 2013.

This spring, the school is replacing it with a community garden, where children are growing vegetables and flowers.

In April, classes began planting seeds that they raised to sprouts in the library and classrooms. Students watched them grow and discussed them in class.

Last week the classes took the seedlings outside and planted them in four raised beds.

“Lots of our kids have gardening experience. They have gardens in their house. Lots of them have farm experiences. They grew up on farms,” said Delp, who grew up on a farm herself.

Over the summer, students and their families will care for the gardens, taking home the vegetables they harvest.

“We want them to be excited about growing their food that they are going to eat,” Delp said.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, https://www.jconline.com

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