- Associated Press - Monday, January 2, 2017

MCALESTER, Okla. (AP) - Local students helped create a butterfly garden for Monarch butterflies at Edmond Doyle Elementary in McAlester.

The project is intended to attract Monarch butterflies during their seasonal migrations and has served as a hands-on curriculum for students at the school.

Edmond Doyle 4-H club members helped the project recently by planting flowers and Indiangrass that will grow to provide a habitat for the butterflies. The junior 4-H club members learned the proper way to plant seeds and several tips on what not to do.

“We planted Indiangrass,” second-grader Brody Roberts said. “And you can’t rake it a lot, because then it doesn’t grow.” Christina Cook added it is important to bury seeds in the correct depth of soil.

“For the flowers they have to be a quarter-of-an-inch deep,” Christina said.



When the flowers are grown, they should be attractive to the butterflies, Christina added.

“I think the butterflies like the colors,” she said.

The McAlester News-Capital (https://bit.ly/2iiYHgW ) reports the garden benefited from the volunteer work of several community members and Eagle Scout Kristian Ethridge, who decided to volunteer his time to the construction of the garden.

Edmond Doyle Principal Kathy Hunt said it’s been a dream of hers to have a butterfly garden for years.

“When I taught fourth grade I taught about Monarch (butterflies),” Hunt said. “And it’s a dream come true. Eventually we will grow them (butterflies) from larvae.”

Hunt said the migratory path of the Monarch butterfly is from Mexico to Canada. There won’t be long-term residents in the garden, but Hunt is hopeful some will show up in their travels.

Hunt’s enthusiasm is noticed by her students.

“Our principal really wants the butterflies to come,” Christina said.

The garden is not yet complete but much of the stone patio was set and seeds were sown. A few stone benches will be placed, Hunt said, and then it’s a matter of waiting for the plants to grow and the butterflies to stop by Edmond Doyle Elementary.

Students, and one very eager principal, will be waiting.

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Information from: McAlester News-Capital, https://www.mcalesternews.com

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