Children at Macedonia Moravian Preschool in Advance, NC, have a new teacher this fall: a garden full of native North Carolina pollinator plants.
Bashavia Gardens designed and planted the garden in October of last year. The garden honors Bonnie Miller, a beloved teacher at the preschool for thirty years. She retired in 2021. Kelly Hines, the preschool’s director, said, “Ms. Bonnie taught hundreds of children to love God and be good stewards of God’s creation.”
Now Ms. Bonnie’s Garden gives preschoolers the chance to experience those lessons in exciting new ways. After years of caring for caterpillars in tents in their classrooms, students now see them mature naturally in the garden. The garden’s feeder and host plants for monarch and swallowtail butterflies surround them. The children also learn about the natural life cycles of all kinds of native North Carolina pollinator plants and insects, from bees to bee balm.
“The kids were excited to see things that looked dead in the winter come alive in the spring, “Ms. Hines said. “When they saw the first flower, they said, ‘It’s working!’ They’re learning that things can look like they aren’t alive, but then they come back.”
Keeping the plants watered during the heat of the summer wasn’t as hard as keeping the kids out of the garden as it became established, Ms. Hines shared. Now that the milkweed and other nectar sources are thriving, the preschool will apply to receive Monarch Waystation certification, an important step to show children and their families what it means to be committed to conservation and environmental stewardship.
Your generous donations to the Environmental Stewardship Field of Interest Fund, managed by your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America, made this ministry of teaching and stewardship possible. A $1,300 grant to Macedonia Moravian Preschool funded this project.
(If you’re in the area and would like to visit the garden, call 336-998-6492 to make an appointment.)