Kelvyn Park High School: Butterfly Space
- Project Type: Outdoor Learning Space
- Students: 67
- Staff: 5
- Mentor: Madeline Schmehling, JLL
- Location: Chicago, IL
- Grade Levels: 7th - 12th
As a participant in the 2022-23 cohort of the Illinois Green Schools Project, Kelvyn Park students followed up on a project from last year in which Environmental Science students documented that when students plant and nurture seeds to grow ("plant parenthood"), they feel better about their classroom. This year's ES students produced a video on why we need plant stewardship and how to plant and nurture seeds, and in cooperation with cluster students, coached other students in the school through a planting process. They also developed a stewardship pledge for students and staff as part of a stewardship badging process.
Students played an important role in the execution of this project. They were responsible for collecting data, conducting research, analyzing results, and presenting their findings to the class. Additionally, students were responsible for proposing potential solutions to the problem and making recommendations to the instructors and other stakeholders. Finally, students were responsible for developing a plan for implementing their proposed solutions.
The butterfly garden will provide a safe, calming, and beautiful environment for the students to come together and talk, share ideas, and work on projects. This project will become a treasured part of the school and foster community and student connection over time.
Kelvyn Park's project positively impacted the school building by providing a place for students to observe and study butterflies and other pollinators. The garden also provided a place to relax and enjoy nature, as well as a place to learn more about environmental conservation. Additionally, the butterfly garden provided a place to practice environmental stewardship through hands-on activities such as planting, weeding, and monitoring the population of butterflies. Finally, the butterfly garden helped to beautify the school grounds and provided a place to connect with nature.
Phase II will begin in April and go through November 2023. Kelvyn Park plans to start the living wall utilizing the beautiful wood recycled from the building, and hope to ultimately create a permanent greenhouse for the campus.