Severna Park High School students enrolled in Marlene Scott’s Spanish III and AP Spanish classes, and the Spanish National Honor Society cut the ribbon on its monarch butterfly garden on October 22. Liz League, CEO of the Greater Severna Park & Arnold Chamber of Commerce, attended the ceremony to present an official certificate from the chamber.
A unit in the Spanish classes discusses the butterflies. “I thought, ‘What connection can I do to help with this and get the kids more involved with the environment?’” Scott said.
With the help of Scott’s friend Gretchen Bandy-Blacketter, the Spanish classes constructed the Monarch butterfly garden. Monarch butterflies have one of the longest butterfly migrations in the world, traveling thousands of miles to Mexico.
“They’re there by the millions. They cover the trunks of the trees. It’s extraordinary,” Blacketter said. “This is a way to help. They’re having a major loss of habitat here in North America, their summer habitat, and this is a way to help improve their population sizes and maintain them.”
Every year, the migration happens right around Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
“They strongly believe it’s their souls coming with the monarch butterfly, so to them, it has great meaning,” Scott said.
A couple months of planning led to a planting in May. The project was an opportunity for Scott’s students to be involved in a real-life activity for which they can monitor the progress.
“Hopefully in generations to come, they will be able to drive by and see it,” Scott said.
Scott wishes to thank Severna Park High School Principal Patrick Bathras, Joanne Brack and Tamara Bauer for their “underlying support.”