Prairie, butterfly garden provide seeds for the future at Westcott and Willowbrook

  • In three years, the Willowbrook butterfly garden has flourished. Native landscape expert Rob Sulski provided his own homegrown plants in 2018 during the student-assisted planting of plugs that took place.

    In three years, the Willowbrook butterfly garden has flourished. Native landscape expert Rob Sulski provided his own homegrown plants in 2018 during the student-assisted planting of plugs that took place. Courtesy of District 30

 
 
Posted11/11/2021 8:00 AM

District 30's K-8 Math and Science Specialist Kery Obradovich has been overseeing the gardens at Wescott and Willowbrook School since 2015, when students began working with native landscape expert Rob Sulski of Foot Stone Inc. to help establish, maintain, and enhance native landscapes; he has even provided his own homegrown plants -- most recently in 2018, during the student-assisted planting of the butterfly garden in front of Willowbrook.

The green projects are overseen by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Melissa Hirsch, who wanted to make sure that the district was providing places for pollinator insects and butterflies to land and to help preserve the insects' survival. Hirsch is also chair of the district's Environmental Awareness Committee.

 

Obradovich and Sulski examined the prairie and butterfly gardens at Wescott and the butterfly garden at Willowbrook earlier this week; the plants Sulski provided have helped the garden flourish in just three years.

Wescott's gardens, long-established, have also continued to bloom with native plants and flowers, plus the occasional orphan trees.

Sulski's recommendation is to cut back the gardens in the fall, which allows them to be neater and to be more vibrant when they rebloom in the spring. It also "recharges" roots and other resources. He and Obradovich also discussed having another planting activity in spring with students during science classes.

The gardens are an example of District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee mission statement: to "promote responsibility to improve and preserve the environment."

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