Slatington Elementary creates native plant garden
Jarret and Dylan Berger are packing the dirt around a plant.
Deb Siglin, adviser of the Garden-Environmental Club for fifth and sixth grades at Slatington Elementary School, said the club's latest project was possible only with the help of Dan Kunkle and the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.
The club is planting native perennials, grasses and shrubs in a garden behind the school. It is expected to benefit birds. The plants were purchased from Edge of the Woods native plant nursery with a grant received from the Together Green program, a project of the Audubon Society.
Siglin said they hope to add to the garden in future years creating a larger bird habitat. The location is next to the only remaining pine tree remaining from 50 planted to celebrate the school's 25th anniversary - "a very fitting place."
The club began three years ago with 80 students signing up the first year. Because of the size, the club split in two. Sue Mendes advises the third and fourth graders.
Inge Foster, a master gardener, was helping the students. She said, "I think it's going to be good for birds, good for bird nesting. The students are working very hard and enthusiastically."
Siglin said they have had many visits from master gardeners, especially Janice Kromer of Sensinger Greenhouses, who is also donating some plants.
Parent Buffy Foust, also a helper, said it is a great experience for the kids. "They get their hands dirty."
Donna Berger, another parent, said it's good to see the kids outside and doing something constructive instead of playing video games.
"I really like it. It'll help the birds," said student Tyler Smith.
Siglin is looking forward to many other projects. They have partnered with the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in the Milkweed for Monarchs project by planting milkweeds in the Gap to attract the monarch butterflies.