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News: Paducah Garden Club Shows Students the Way


December 13, 2017

Paducah Garden Club’s forty members are helping this western Kentucky community restore, protect, and improve the environment. Among the club’s civic outreach projects is the Clark Elementary School Monarch Waystation.  Paducah GC provided native plants to assist with the waystation designation.  Butterfly bushes, vibrant milkweed, colorful zinnias, miniature tomatoes, and herbs now delight the school’s 600 students.

More importantly, the garden serves as the basis for science and geography lessons, as students document the presence of bees and butterflies that now frequent the once-neglected corner of the schoolyard.  In addition, children track monarch migration and carefully look for butterfly eggs under leaves.  A rain gauge allows students to chart rainfall trends, and feeders attract a variety of birds to observe and document.  A composting barrel teaches students about plant decomposition and natural fertilizing techniques.

Garden snakes served as inspiration for a curvy path that entices students to wander through the garden.  The path is decorated with mosaic tiles created by the students, whose inspiration came from myriad colors and textures found in the raised beds.  The garden also has prompted other artistic projects, including garden photographs and a spectacular mural in the cafeteria featuring life found in the garden:  hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, moths, annuals, perennials, and garden snakes.

Paducah GC members recently worked with students to collect seeds, providing an important lesson about propagation.  The partnership between the garden club and Clark School is now expanding into the study of spores and botanical names.   

The thriving garden and local partnership recently received accolades from Paducah’s city and civic leaders.  Tammy Zimmerman, board chairman of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s wonderful to see Paducah’s students working with local organizations to promote conservation.  I can tell by the students’ enthusiasm that they are excited to provide food and a rest stop for butterflies as they make their way south."

The club also maintains a monarch waystation at Paducah’s Whitehaven Welcome Center, a restored 1860s Southern mansion and Kentucky’s only historic home serving as an interstate welcome center.

Read more about Paducah GC’s work in the community.



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