Rita Welsh, a first grade teacher at Catoctin Elementary School, gathered volunteers, made plans and pulled together the community to create a fantastic new Monarch Waystation at Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg!
Thank you all who participated in this – for the Monarchs and for all the children who will enjoy this outdoor classroom for years to come! We can only guess what discoveries of nature these kids will make!
Here it is, in her own words:
Words cannot express my gratitude for all the help provided to make this project a reality. Building a Waystation was just an intriguing idea when Nicole Hamilton, President of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, offered free milkweed to anyone interested in creating a Monarch habitat. When Master Gardener Cindy Annino suggested that building a Monarch Waystation at Catoctin this spring was a possibility after all, the vision started to come into focus.
With the help and support from Mrs. Rueckert and Mr. Heironimus for approval and funding, the expertise and beautiful garden design by Cindy Annino, a generous donation from Odette Scovel (instructional supervisor for science at LCPS) towards the purchase of the topsoil, the milkweed plant donation from the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, newspaper donations from Rust Library and all the assistance and organization of Mike George, leader of Cub Scout pack 311, we successfully built and planted our Monarch Waystation on Saturday, June 15th.
Thank you also goes to Blake Landscaping, who has generously agreed to take care of the edging of our garden too! That should certainly help keep the soil and mulch intact should we experience torrential downpours in the future.
Members of the Cub Scout pack and other volunteers who came out to help on Saturday worked tirelessly on a VERY physically demanding project. Moving topsoil and mulch with wheelbarrows and shovels was quite a workout!!!
The end result is a beautiful garden space that will be enjoyed by the staff and students (and community) for years to come. It will be a wonderful outdoor classroom space to extend student knowledge of the Monarchs and a loving tribute to our friend and Catoctin teacher, Sharon Funk, who succumbed to cancer last fall. Thank you, thank you, thank you to every single person (big and small) who touched our garden to make it a reality. I am deeply grateful.
The link below is for the photo album I created for the new garden space to show all the hard work that went into it’s completion. Bring on the Monarchs!!!!