Thursday, December 3, 2015

School to School, Garden to Garden

Katy Trietsch and Corinne Peace
Len Foote Hike Inn
Outdoor School
Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia

The recent popular interest in bringing children outside has brought with it the desire to create learning gardens. A sanctuary for students to learn life lessons – responsibility, care, and receive nourishment – in the outdoor classroom. The conclusion of the TTEC training in West Virginia created an atmosphere of community along the AT.  We connected all of our schools through the AT and through our passion for students learning in the outdoors. Nature has a way of bringing people together but it is also a way for migrating animals and insects to travel.
Monarch on Goldenrod, Max Patch, Nov.19
The AT is known as the “green tunnel” mainly because of how much of the trail is covered by trees and plants. This biodiversity creates a wildlife or green corridor that allows animals a buffer zone of wilderness because of the National Trail System Act of 1968. The Act protected the trails to preserve them for future recreational use and in doing so protected the wildlife of the AT. A flyway is not as commonly known as a wildlife corridor. Most hikers will look down at their feet so as to not trip on a root or rock than look up above them. Flyway’s are critical for migrating birds and insects – specifically that of the Monarch butterfly.
Recently, The Hike Inn has entered into the Monarchs Across Georgia Pollinator Habitat Grant. Writing the grant was a great tool and process for organizing our garden planning.  Monarchs Across Georgia offers resources and educational opportunities for schools and private gardens to become a part of the Monarch's migration path. Like stepping stones across a river, these gardens offer a safe refuge across urban landscapes. If each school along the AT planted a pollinator garden, the Monarchs could travel from school to school and garden to garden, what a beautiful trip! The Hike Inn is hoping to be a stop for the Monarchs as Eastern Monarchs migrate over the Appalachian Mountains. By having a pollinator garden one can look at the connection everything has to one another, educate students on our responsibility to the earth and connect the AT as a wildlife corridor and the Atlantic flyway.
Monarch Mountain Stop Garden Plan
We hope you will consider creating a pollinator habitat at your school linking our TTEC spirit up and down the east coast! Let us know if you have a pollinator garden at your school or if you plan on creating one. We would love to hear from you and help as a learning resource center to you and the butterflies!
Email us at ATTN: Katy and Corinne.

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald