GCN Works with the Girl Scouts
The Garden Club of Norfolk has been fortunate in building an alliance with Girl Scout Troop #85103 over the past two years. Led by Mary Ellen DuBois and Diane Cullen, the troop has helped increase awareness of the challenges facing the monarch butterfly and also worked to create a butterfly habitat in Norfolk.
Our butterfly habitat is a garden located at the Norfolk Co Operative Preschool and Federated Church. In June 2015, Troop #85103 got to work digging holes, adding compost, and watering. The site already contained one of the most important elements to a butterfly garden: common milkweed. The girls also planted some beautiful flowers donated by members of the Garden Club of Norfolk.
Through the troop’s hard work, the butterfly garden had a healthy supply of fresh milkweed leaves at the end of last summer. The garden has since been certified as a Monarch Waystation and the Girl Scouts have purchased a sign and post for visitors to be aware of this fact.
The Norfolk Co Operative Preschool donated the white fence which now surrounds the garden. More plants have already been added this year, and a path has been positioned inside the garden so that children attending the preschool and federated church have access. Each class at the preschool planted seeds in containers, and these seedlings have also been planted for everyone to enjoy.
Girl Scout Troop #85103 should be very proud of their achievements. We look forward to continuing our work on this beautiful butterfly garden which will benefit all who come into contact with it.
We would like to recognize and say thanks to Jessica Watson, a scout mom and volunteer coordinator at Stony Brook Audubon, for being actively involved in all our meetings and to Madeline Champagne for offering her time and expertise in educating the troop about the challenges facing the monarch.
Contributor Michelle Noonan, Garden Club of Norfolk
Scouts are promoting a State Butterfly for Massachusetts. Read more.
GCN is helping Norfolk Girl Scouts receive the Bronze Award
You may have seen the Norfolk Girl Scouts selling milkweed at the Plant and Bake Sale. Their Bronze Award project is helping increase awareness and habitat for the Monarch butterfly in Norfolk. They raised $78 dollars selling butterfly weed at the plant and bake sale, this money has been given back to the scouts to help fund their project. Madeline Champagne, a Foxboro resident and expert lepidopterist (person who studies butterflies) has been a major help and has offered up her time and expertise to help educate the troops on everything to do with Monarch butterflies. She has years of experience and knowledge and we are very grateful for her support. These scouts have helped educate two other girl scout troops and will be helping in the butterfly gardens at Stony Brook and H. Olive Day this summer. We hope this will be a fun experience for them and they will learn the different aspects of butterfly gardening, become familiar with the native plants and develop some gardening knowledge.
The monarch is an iconic butterfly; no other butterfly is known to make the remarkable migration from Mexico all the way to Canada and back each year. They have an internal GPS system and it takes three to four generations to complete the round trip. Their decline is a sign that something is wrong in our environment, by taking steps to help the monarch we will be helping all pollinators.
If any members would like butterfly weed for their gardens please let someone from the butterfly garden know and we would be happy to give you some. We have plenty of butterfly weed seedlings to share. Butterfly weed unlike Common Milkweed behaves itself very well in the garden and will attract a steady stream of butterflies who will visit for nectar as well as provide food for the Monarch caterpillars. We also have common milkweed seeds which would be perfect in a naturalized, meadow setting.
Submitted by Michelle Noonan, Garden Club of Norfolk and butterfly gardener