Markham School on SW Capitol Highway has expansive open landscaping with mature trees, but the lawns left habitat and biodiversity lacking. The fifth grade class took on the project of planning and installing a native habitat garden as their legacy gift to their elementary school. We helped the students plan their garden, purchase the plants and other supplies, and then joined in the fun on planting day. Before heading out to plant we had a classroom discussion about all the benefits that native plants provide, especially to pollinators and birds.
The class also partnered with a knowledgeable local bee enthusiast to introduce stingless native Orchard Mason Bees to their garden, and then studied their foraging and nest building behavior as a class project. The 5th grade teacher organizing this project has integrated the garden into her lesson plans in many creative ways, and is now hoping to work with a landscape architect from Architects in Classrooms to design the next phase of the habitat garden.