Our vision for Canada is a nation that respects and protects wildlife species that pollinate and help create the food and nature we enjoy on a daily basis. We want to help inspire the next generation of citizens to see the value in caring for and nurturing nature for the present and their future. We learned about the decline in population of the Monarch Butterfly and honeybees in Canada and wanted to provide another stop along the way for Monarchs and honeybees to find nectar in their life cycle journeys. The main focus in our project is to inform and support young children in developing their understanding of insect life cycles and the interconnectedness to these beautiful creatures to our own lives and to begin to foster an appreciation for nature and how they can have a direct impact on their local and national environment. This is an important issue in our community because many of our students lack the opportunity to learn how to nurture plants and insects due to lack of space in their own home or their busy lives.
We learned about the decline in the Monarch Butterfly populations during a professional development workshop given by Monarch Teacher Network of Canada. We decided to inform and engage our students in learning about how they can have a direct impact on improving the well-being for a species that is at-risk simply by becoming in involved in gardening. We decided to plant a pollinator garden and have plans for a vegetable garden in a later phase of our project in order to given students an opportunity to learn to positively impact their local environment and foster necessary skills for stewardship in this area and beyond. Our project provides a feeding ground for all pollinators in the area and will provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn about insect life cycles and environmental stewardship. We engaged our kindergarten students in the fall through teaching them about the Monarchs life cycle and having Monarch caterpillars in our classroom. Our students excitement about witnessing first hand the development of the caterpillar, the pupa dance and emergence from the chrysalis went home with them and throughout the school. Parents were so excited to learn along with their child about Monarchs. Our kindergarten class was directly involved in planning, digging and planting for this garden.