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The Cohasset Garden Club Develops “Bee a Pollinator Pal” Week


June 14, 2023

Longstanding commitment to elementary education takes flight

In anticipation of National Pollinator Week (June 19-25), we’re featuring the Cohasset Garden Club’s long-standing commitment to educate local elementary school children about the value of pollinators. After two years of planning, persuasion, and perspiration, club members created a pollinator-friendly garden at the Osgood School in Cohasset, Massachusetts. They also developed an engaging 2nd grade curriculum for “Bee a Pollinator Pal” week that has entertained and enlightened young gardeners for a decade.

Initially, the club’s Conservation Committee proposed plans for a pollinator friendly garden and an early June week dedicated to pollinator instruction. The club presented their plans multiple times to Cohasset’s school superintendent,  lower school principal, and teachers, finally earning their approval. In 2013, the club’s Conservation Committee members created an organic pollinator garden bed in a field-like area behind the school building. Club members and students jointly planted a robust combination of bird, bee, and butterfly-friendly species.

Ten years later, Pollinator Pal Week continues to educate young gardeners about the importance of pollinator friendly plants using a pollinator coloring sheet with cut-outs for bulletin-board display, in-class puzzles, books and videos. Instruction includes lessons on worms and their crucial ecological role as well as how to raise caterpillars that will turn into butterflies. 

The children dress as pollinators during the week, meet with a nearby organic farm’s naturalist, and spend days in the garden. Outdoor sessions include observations of root structures, discussions about healthy organic soil, and the release of two hundred and fifty worms into the garden. A student favorite is the lesson on how “worm poop” enhances the soil nutrients. And just like we all prefer our favorite ice cream flavors, the students learn that pollinators have their favorite color and “flavor” of flowers. 
The week culminates with a Friday release of classroom-raised butterflies into the garden. In addition, the children are sent home for the weekend with marigold seeds, instructions for planting in pots or outdoors, and tips on enjoying the mature flowers in salads and other recipes. The project has helped instill in both the children and their families an appreciation for the importance of our gardens, healthy organic soil, and the many inhabitants who depend on, live in, and visit them.This year will be the tenth year of the program and the students and teachers truly look forward to participating again.



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