On March 19, the Extended Learning Program (ELP) students set out in search of vibrantly colored floral arrangements to decorate the Clewiston Middle School (CMS) campus.
On their journey to the Southern Native Gardens in Loxahatchee, Fla., the students discovered a plant known as “Milkweed.” The plant itself is not what captured the attention of the students, but the inhabitants of the Milkweed plant — the Monarch butterfly caterpillars.
The students took the caterpillars to the CMS campus, along with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Some of the plants included the Fire Bush, Pentas, Red Sisters and other colorful native vegetation.
The majority of the caterpillars survived the trip, except for a meagerly few that passed on during the bone-shaking excursion back to Clewiston. The Monarch caterpillars emerged from their chrysalises and are presently roaming around the CMS campus.
The ELP students gathered together in the CMS courtyard on Friday, March 27 to begin the planting process.
The first step was to prepare the land, which required removal of old foliage and tilling the earth. Secondly, students added topsoil to improve the quality of the existing soil. Then, students began the process of planting all the new plants, as well as transplanting the existing foliage.
Finally, the students dispersed the red mulch within the landscaping border. As they all stood back and looked upon the finished product, the students were pleased at the success of their CMS landscaping project.