School Garden Network just hosted it’s annual School Yard Habitat workshop. Classroom teachers, garden coordinators, after -school educators, informal outdoor educators and administrators spent the day learning about school yard habitats at the wonderful Laguna Environmental Education Center.
We had a great tour of the habitat gardens on site by designer Tony McGuigan who taught us about burying logs on site as a way to both retain water and create habitat for wildlife.
Kirsten Franklin, science advisor with Petaluma School District, helped us to begin to understand the structure of next Generation Science Standards and how this shift to real-world, project -based scientific understanding will dovetail with schoolyard habitats projects and Citizen Science programs.
Sharon Dado, the “Monarch Lady”, shared her passion for the Monarch Butterfly. We were then thrilled to find lots of Monarch larvae when we went outside to save seeds for seed balls from the native milkweed on site( Asclepius fasicularis). If you look closely at this photo you can see a larvae forming a J shape which it does just before becoming a chrysalis
We concluded the class with making seed balls with native milkweed and Ca Poppy seeds.
The workshop was sponsored by School Garden Network in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife and is a pre-requisite for receiving funding from USFWS for a habitat project.