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Bring on the monarchs: Pollinator garden takes root at The Anthony School

The Anthony School is creating a pollinator garden to attract monarch butterflies, complete with artwork from students to fill a mural wall.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — THV11 Storyteller Theba Lolley had the opportunity to visit The Anthony School’s new pollinator garden, and she met some very creative kids along the way.

“What is going on behind us is a dream come true,” says The Anthony School Art Teacher Graeme Ellzey.

What was once a dark, grey wall will now be filled with bright, colorful artwork drawn and painted by students.

“The fact that we’ve had such a year that we’ve had working individually behind plexiglass shield desks, I thought what better way to end this year than to get outside and totally transform this space,” says Ellzey. “Allowing these kids to take ownership and come up with their own ideas and ways they can bring beauty, joy, and lift each other up.”

“I put words like ‘peace, love, and be you’ because I wanted words to live by,” says a student.

The space will not only be used to show off the student’s wonderful artwork. Pollinator-friendly plants will be planted to help encourage monarch butterflies to come.

The Anthony School has applied to the Monarch Waystation Program.

“We have various types of milkweed planted in our garden to help bring the monarchs here to lay eggs, and nectar plants to help give them food and strength,” says Educational Interventionist & Garden Coordinator Garden Coordinator Caitlin Watt.

“Last fall, with the part that we have already started, we had one class alone who raised and released over 12 monarchs,” says Watt.

They even saved a spot for Theba to sketch her own butterfly on the wall.

“Your butterfly is 100 percent awesome!” says a student.

Next steps for the pollinator garden are for students to fill in their sketches with paint and for the plants to be planted.

Theba will be back to visit once the space is complete, and the butterflies appear.