Covenant Day’s Butterfly Garden was created in response to our Monarch Butterfly Project. The Monarch Butterfly Project gives students the opportunity to promote sustainability and restoration through a partnership with the University of Georgia, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Kansas. Students capture and tag butterflies so researchers know that they passed through North Carolina on their way to Mexico.
The butterfly garden, which attracts monarch butterflies, is located near the center of campus and is a certified wildlife habitat that includes water sources, native plants, and a distinctive natural bee house. This outdoor space serves as a learning garden for lower school students, providing a natural setting for experiential learning. Each year students and faculty hold a Butterfly Parade which ends in the Butterfly Garden with the release of monarch butterflies.
Outdoor Learning & Exploration Zone
Next to the butterfly garden is a newly constructed exploration zone where students can learn, observe, explore, and put their imaginations to work in a natural setting. This outdoor learning area includes a stage for mini plays, a drum made out of a hollow log, a log water chute, a table for sorting objects, an observation tower, two cane teepees, a small table with stools, logs for building, and The Mine where students can dig and sift for gems. This space also features an outdoor library with books on insects, animals, and plants to promote further research. Additional learning features will be added in the future, giving students more opportunities to learn and explore outside of the classroom.
Future additions will include a tire swing, additional raised beds for growing a variety of seeds, rain barrel and water buckets for raised beds, a plank walk, and scale.
Young Researchers (posted 10/17/16)
Over the last couple of weeks, Covenant Day lower school students have tested 21 “home grown” monarch butterflies for disease. They will send their results off to a lab at the University of Georgia for further study. These monarch butterflies, found in Covenant Day’s own butterfly garden, grew from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis. After the testing was completed, the butterflies were safely released. Additionally, the students collected and grew more than 100 fritillaries and swallowtails. Students were able to view an empty chrysalis and locate the breathing holes for the caterpillar that it had contained (pictured).