What do Coreopsis Rosia and Monarda have in common?
Besides being difficult to spell, they attract butterflies.
Broken Arrow students, who have been learning about plant life, got a hands-on experience Wednesday when they planted flowers in an outdoor garden at the school.
``I'd heard of other schools doing it and it seemed so appealing to learn by being outdoors,'' parent volunteer Joni Fornelli said.
Fornelli, other volunteers and teachers helped students with the finer points of turning mulch and planting flowers.
``We want the children to experience nurturing nature and seeing the rewards in that, and also to be able to learn from a living laboratory,'' Fornelli said. ``With the butterfly garden, the children are learning what factors are involved with plant growth and their seasonal changes, and also butterfly and other insect life cycles.''
Fourth-grader Marissa Ballard and the members of her group were responsible for planting rue, a type of flower.
Marissa said she is looking forward to watching the garden grow.
``I hope nobody destroys it,'' she said. ``I hope people take care of it and enjoy how it looks.''
Marissa may be among the volunteers who sign up to tend the garden this summer.
``I've done quite a bit (of gardening) with my mom,'' she said. ``I like watching plants and seeing the ones that come back and grow year after year.''
All students in the school participated in the project, putting some 160 plants into the ground. Plants were donated by parents, volunteers, Henry's Plant Farm and Earl May Nursery and Garden Center.
Earl May sales associate Holly Greer was on hand to answer questions and help with the planting.
``We're here to help, but they're doing all the work,'' Greer said. ``They really enjoy the work.''
Greer said getting students involved at a young age helps them develop a greater understanding for nature.
``It's nice to watch them grow and appreciate nature rather than abuse nature,'' she said.
--JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.