Green Schoolyards America is proud to feature Living Schoolyard Month celebrations that were held in May across the state of California. If you celebrated and would like to be featured here, send photos and a brief description to info (at) greenschoolyards (dot) org. —GSA
IPS/ Butler University Lab School (Lab School) teacher Marielle Slagel discovered her students’ immense curiosity about insects when one student brought a cicada shell to show and tell. The class was so excited that Ms. Slagel developed a project to learn more about cicadas. This project expanded and eventually included the study of other insects and their habitats.
Bay Tree Design (BTD) has been consulting with Butler Lab School on their greening efforts. Last fall, BTD presented innovative solutions for living schoolyards to parents and students. Students also participated in a hands-on design workshop to solicit their ideas and dreams for their schoolyard. Ms. Slagel’s students took a particular interest in the slide about insect hotels. The school was considering some improvements around this time, especially at their entrance — the existing chain link fence was not particularly inviting.
Ms. Slagel asked her students if they wanted to replace the fence with a home for pollinating insects. The students heartily agreed and used class time to design a structure that would be insect-friendly. This May, students and parent volunteers built the project. The new entrance creates a welcoming space for the local human and insect communities.
Contributed by Ron Smith, Principal, IPS/Butler University Lab School.
Photos by Ron Smith.