When Alba Economic Development Corp. suggested adding a butterfly and pollinator garden to the city park, Alba-Golden teacher Marci Curry jumped on the idea.
To meet state standards, her agricultural math students are planning, designing and completing the community project this spring.
Senior students Jessica Collier, Taylor Langston and Charles Porter have been given a budget and are working on scaled drawings.
Under the guidance of Curry and with the help of junior students Ari Nivision and Jasmine Weed, they will create a self-sustaining, attractive, functional and safe habitat for pollinators.
The garden project will be the focus of the landscaping unit of agricultural math. Students are using geometry and math models to plan for optimum ground cover.
They have chosen drought-resistant perennials, with most being indigenous to Texas. The lavender, prunella, salvia, milkweed, butterfly bush and butterfly mix of wildflowers will all begin as seeds in the school greenhouse.
At the end of March, students will begin preparing the ground at Alba park by removing the grass, tilling and supplementing the soil.
The seedlings should be healthy and large by late March or early April. Assuming the weather is cooperative and there is no danger of frost, they will begin planting.
Eventually, the garden will be a carpet of plants humming with pollinators, a big butterfly bush at its center and milkweed to feed the caterpillars.
The senior students are involved in two other projects, both in the effort to help others.
They have joined a nationwide, youth-led denim jeans drive sponsored by Aeropostale. Until Feb. 14, they will be collecting clean and gently used jeans for teens in local homeless shelters. The school that collects the most jeans will get a $10,000 grant.
They are also putting together a prom closet filled with gently used dresses and tuxes for students who can’t afford formals.
By Amanda Duncan
You can find this article, as originally published, at Wood County Monitor online.