SKOWHEGAN — Students in Lori Swenson’s third-grade class at Bloomfield Elementary School wanted to help monarch butterflies in their battle for habitat and survival, so they got creative.

The 15 students created a butterfly garden behind one of the mobile classroom units on their campus. They learned about butterfly life cycles in science and that many butterflies are in danger because of habitat loss, Swenson said.

“As a result, we wrote a persuasive letter to our principal, Mrs. Pillsbury, to convince her to let us build a butterfly garden,” Swenson said. “After we planned out the garden, took measurements and came up with a budget to pay for it, she approved it. I also wrote a community grant to Wal-Mart who donated a community grant of $500 to us to buy most of the materials, and Ware Butler in Waterville donated the materials to build the garden bed.”

The kids finished the garden this past week and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony with butterfly songs and poems.

Student Gabby Goding said there was a lot to learn about butterflies and how to help them.

“We were doing research on the butterflies’ life cycles, and we learned that the monarch butterflies are becoming endangered,” she said.

Gabby’s classmate Taylor Quattrocchi added that the habitat of the monarch is in danger because milkweed plants are being cut down and mowed over. Without milkweed, where the butterflies eat and lay their eggs, the monarch will die, she said.

Classmate Calee Barrett said the answer is simple: “We can grow more milkweed.”

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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Twitter: Doug_Harlow

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