The Roots Foundation team is on the MNSA campus on a weekly basis, supporting the implementation of Project Based Learning. We started off the year delving into the study of pollinators. The sixth grade is asking the question; “How do we design and install a sustainable pollinator garden on our school campus?” The working title of this project is “To Bee or Not To Bee”.
To kick off the event, Phyllis Stiles, founder and Executive Director of Bee City USA came to school and presented a story about bees and pollinators to each of the four classes. Phyllis also connected the classes to Kim Bailey, who is the owner of Milkweed Meadows Farm in Hendersonville. Kim raises Monarch butterflies, has an extensive pollinator garden and provided each class with a number of Monarchs in chrysalides – 20 emerged and were released from the school grounds!
Creative Learning with Students
Over the past few weeks, the classes are studying pollinator plants. TRF Director of the Gardens, Justin Holt, provided the classes with a large list of plants to study. Some are appropriate for a garden in Asheville, others are not — this is for the students to figure out.
On the Horizon:
For the remainder of 2017, the students and teachers will be selecting plant material for their garden design and putting together a student-produced public service video explaining the importance of pollinators.