Stella Niagara Education Park held its annual Nature Day on Friday, April 27th for students and faculty. The celebration began with a prayer service and was followed by crafts and games, all based around nature and our environment. All of the activities were designed to teach our students about nature as well as help the environment.
The students built bluebird nest houses to help our local bluebird population. Throughout the country, the bluebirds natural nesting sites have been taken over by starlings and sparrows. Nest boxes help maintain bluebird populations that have declined by as much as 90%. These bluebird nest boxes will be installed near our children’s garden for local bluebirds.
Planting seeds for our butterfly garden was another fun activity. Students planted milkweed, zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers. The monarch butterfly population is declining but our students learned that each garden planted to support the monarch butterflies can make a difference!
Our students also constructed bee houses for our pollinator garden. Bee houses are like bird houses but rather than attracting birds, they attract solitary bees. Unlike honey bees, these bees are 3 times more effective as pollinators! Bee houses consist of native bee nesting materials like hollow reeds and cardboard tubes.
In addition to crafts that will help our natural surroundings, our students created T-Shirt Totes that will be distributed at local food pantries in Niagara County. These totes were made from old t-shirts. Each year, Niagara Country residents use over 6 million plastic bags. These reusable bags will help our local environment by cutting down on this waste. Sacred Heart Academy students assisted in the T-Shirt Tote project as part of their school’s day of service.
Stella Niagara Education Park integrates traditional classroom teaching with innovative outdoor experiences. Students learn, explore, experiment and become enriched by outdoor activities on our 104-acre campus that integrate nature into their everyday classwork. Nature Day is a unique opportunity for our students to celebrate outdoor education, an important part of our curriculum.