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Kids create butterfly garden in Texas

  • Subject: [cg] Kids create butterfly garden in Texas
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 12:44:31 -0800 (PST)

Brownsville Herald, Brownsville Texas, USA

Children create second butterfly garden at convention
center

By RYAN HENRY
Island Breeze

February 16, 2006  United Kingdoms tourist Victor
Hitchings peered through his digital camera and framed
his subject  butterflies.

Last week, Hitchings returned to South Padre Island
for his third time, drawn much like his quarry to a
butterfly garden outside the Convention Centre.

Hitchings discovered the bed of waist-high flowering
plants through a recommendation from Roland Wauer,
author of Butterflies of the Lower Rio Grande
Valley.

This garden is mentioned as the best garden on South
Padre Island, Hitchings said. Its the hotspot on
the Island.

Last week, students of the Success Center at the Point
Isabel Independent School District planted another
plot of native plants to form a secondary butterfly
garden at the convention center.

The new garden is near the first one they planted
approximately a year-and-a-half ago.

The students of the Success Center are good kids who
have violated one of the codes of student conduct,
said educator Shane Wilson, who taught the children
during the project.

Using about $450 collected and donated by the Outdoor
and Wildlife Program hosted by the St. Andrews by the
Bay Episcopal Church in Port Isabel, the students
planted Texas lantana, blue mist, chili pequin and
others.

The birds love (the chilies), Island birdwatcher
Scarlet Colley said.

The children enjoyed the community service project,
mother Marisol Rodriguez said while watching her son
Ricardo work. As a 12-year-old student at Derry
Elementary, he was the youngest worker among students
ranging through high school ages.

I can see hes enjoying himself, Rodriguez said.
And hes learning something.

Port Isabel High School student Pablo Garcia, 17, said
the garden was his first Success Center project. He
helped the others dig the bed with shovels to remove
roots before planting and watering the plants.

This teaches us how to help the environment out  and
the birds and butterflies, right here, Garcia said.

Projects like this help the community and provide
students with science lessons, Wilson said.

They feel like they can do something, Wilson said.
They come up and see what they did years ago, and it
instills a lot of community pride in them.

The students havent been able to do many projects
this year because of state funding cuts to the Success
Centers budget and programs like it throughout Texas
last year, Wilson said.

We used to have quite a bit (of the programs),
Wilson said. This is a service-learning program. The
difference between a service-learning program and
community service is that kids plan it, they design it
and they do it all themselves.

To fund the Success Center, the program now relies
upon local fundraisers, such as the outdoors show
earlier this month.

Were also running a kids redfish cup tournament
April 22, Wilson said. All the proceeds from that
will come back to the school district to fund service
learning and help the students who are at risk.


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