Vision

The Garden at Oswegatchie School is a sustainable organic garden where children get a hands on experience learning where their food comes from while developing an appreciation and respect for nature. The Garden will be a learning center to teach gardening as well as incorporating art, music, literature, math and science. It is a place where children are encouraged to join in and participate in the process of creating, developing and maintaining the garden!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Come On Monarchs!

It's official!
The Garden at Oswegatchie School has officially become a Monarch Waystation. This means we provide food, nectar, and shelter to migrating Monarchs. It is our small way of respecting and protecting these beautiful creatures. It is very easy to attract butterflies to your own yards. In this post I'll share some resources to get you started.

MonarchWatch.org is a very comprehensive site that will direct you to a plethora of online butterfly sources. They will fill you in on all things monarch.

Butterflywebsite.com is a great place to learn all about butterflies and moths. They have great advice for attracting different types of butterflies with plants. You can also find a nice variety of clip art as well as links to other "buggy" sites.

If you would like to look at butterflies without having to do the work of planting a butterfly garden, there are several places close by to enjoy them. The closest would be Chelsea Botanical Gardens in Norwich. Another fairly close place is Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield MA (down the road from Yankee Candle). One that is a little farther but still doable as a day trip is The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA. Clicking on the names of each place will re-direct you to each site.

Of course I can't leave out the books! Listed below are some of my favorites on the subject of Butterflies.
Gail Gibbons is one of my favorite "go to" authors for children's non-fiction. In this book, she outlines the monarch's life cycle with clear concise text and detailed illustrations. She also maps out the migratory path and gives instructions for raising your own monarch.

Simple text in this easy to read butterfly journey details a classroom of children as they hatch a butterfly. This lovely little book illustrates each step of the butterfly life cycle. The author also includes a section of common butterflies to look for in your yard.

DK Publishing is the leader when it comes to life cycle photography books for children. This book has up close photographs in stunning detail for every stage of a butterfly life cycle. They break down the time line for common species and add extra interesting facts on almost every page. Emergent readers as well as beginners will enjoy this book.

Older readers will learn nearly everything there is to know about 23 common garden butterflies in this gem of a field guide. The stunning photography captures each life cycle stage as well as host and nectar plants for each species. There is a whole section dedicated to Butterfly Habitat gardening that is very user friendly.

This lengthy picture book by Melissa Stewart is delightfully illustrated by Higgins Bond. It contains some little known and interesting facts about several species of butterflies. Did you know butterflies have lived on earth for around 140 million years? Or that some butterflies thrive in burned forestland? Several butterfly species are highlighted in this text. The author also includes maps locating some common species.

For introducing non-fiction to very young listeners The Butterfly by Anna Milbourne and Cathy Shimmen is your go-to book. Cartoon like illustrations and simple text outline the butterfly life cycle in the simplest of terms while asking listeners to predict what will happen next. Great for a lap sit read aloud for your toddler or preschooler. 


In this sweet story two friends learn about friendship, growing up and staying together. Farfallina and Marcel are a caterpillar and gosling who grow up together learning to respect each others differences by being considerate of their different abilities. The book hints at life cycles without coming out and detailing them. 

If gardening or reading about butterflies isn't your cup of tea, Pinterest has a wealth of Butterfly crafts for kids. This site is my favorite place to wander when looking for anything crafty.

Be sure to check back when our habitat is in full bloom. Hopefully we'll be able to get some pictures of our visitors.

A visitor at our house last year.

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