Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEV), in partnership with city and county governments and the Southern Conservation Trust, have now planted 18 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator gardens around Fayette County. (See map.)
This is the second year for the program, and the focus so far has been in elementary schools for STEM and STEAM education. Next year, we will continue to concentrate on gardens currently on the trail as well as a couple of new additions. In the schools, each incoming third-grade class will maintain and add to the existing garden, mentored by the previous year’s class.
Over 3,000 plants, most grown from seed or propagated by MGEV in the greenhouse at the old Fayette County high school, have been used for the project. Most of these plants were installed in the new gardens, but some were added to existing gardens to replace last year’s plants that did not survive the winter.
Jeff Eller, a teacher at Springhill Elementary, documented the planting of his school’s pollinator garden in a blog:
The project has been a great way to foster teamwork and teach the children about gardening, the plight of pollinators, and ways they can help the environment.
UGA Cooperative Extension is a collaboration between Georgia county governments, the USDA, and the University of Georgia’s colleges of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and Family & Consumer Sciences.
The mission of UGA Cooperative Extension is to extend lifelong learning to the people of Georgia through unbiased, research-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families.
Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEV) bring the latest horticultural information and practices from the world of scientific research to their communities’ landscapes and gardens. Through this program, individuals are trained and certified in horticulture and related areas. These individuals, in turn, volunteer their expertise and services, under the direction of their County Extension Agent, to assist others through horticultural projects that benefit the community. If you are interested in this program or becoming a MGEV, please contact the Fayette County Extension Office at 770-305-5412.