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posted: 10/25/2010 1:00 AM

Fremont students ready garden for spring

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  • Fremont Intermediate School students Olivia Schawel, left, and Amelia Lee, both third graders, show off some of the 250 tulip bulbs that the students planted in the Mundelein school's butterfly garden last week.

      Fremont Intermediate School students Olivia Schawel, left, and Amelia Lee, both third graders, show off some of the 250 tulip bulbs that the students planted in the Mundelein school's butterfly garden last week.
    Paul Valade

  • About 50 third and fourth grade students at Fremont Intermediate School plant tulip bulbs in the school's butterfly garden.

      About 50 third and fourth grade students at Fremont Intermediate School plant tulip bulbs in the school's butterfly garden.
    Paul Valade

 
 

As winter approaches, one word comes to mind for those living in the Chicago area -- spring.

With the help of 50 Fremont Intermediate School students, spring is going to be extra special next year.

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The third- and fourth-grade multi-age students, taught by Chris Bratta and Susan Wittenkeller, planted 250 tulip bulbs in the Mundelein school's courtyard butterfly garden recently. The students have already planted butterfly-attracting plants and will add more in the spring. The ongoing work is part of a beautification project for the courtyard.

The students dug 6-inch holes along the wall of the courtyard and dropped in the bulbs. A handful of mushroom compost was added for a little growing boost.

The students will visit the garden in the spring as they explore a new unit on caterpillars and the process of becoming butterflies. They will also release butterflies at that time.

"We are all excited about the butterfly garden. Not only will it be a beautiful space, but it will be an outdoor classroom for all of the students at Fremont to enjoy," Bratta said.

The Intermediate students raised money for the project by selling recycled lapel pins. The money was donated to the Fremont Education Foundation. The foundation provided the two teachers with $1,200 to help create the garden.

"The children really enjoy doing hands-on activities like this and it provides an opportunity for them to take ownership," Bratta added. "They are proud of raising the money for this project and doing the hard work that is involved with the planting and upkeep of the garden."

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