Butterfly garden sure to attract attention
In a few months, when the children at Goodstart Early Learning Bongaree
want to do a little bit of insect research, they will step outside into their butterfly garden.
The children have planted a garden in the centre’s yard complete with plants that attract butterflies and encourage them to lay eggs there.
Part of the centre’s aim to learn about sustainable practices, the program was recently recognised through Goodstart's annual awards, where it won a major award in the sustainability category for "looking after our community".
Centre director Monique Bullock, who has since moved on to Morayfield, said they wanted the children to feel part of the community.
“Planting the butterfly garden was part of a bigger program to engage the children and fire up their interest in the community,” Ms Bullock said.
The children and educators have researched preserving and breeding different butterfly species, and visit the beach once a week to pick up rubbish, watch the local native birds and find shells and stones.
“They also love to talk about where they live and the animals that lived around them, specifically the effect rubbish can have on the environment,” Ms Bullock said.
“We participated in Clean Up Australia day and went walking around the community collecting the rubbish we saw – something that the children now do every day.”
The idea for the butterfly garden came from the nearby Bribie’s butterfly house which breeds more than 20 species of the insects and releases them back into the community.
“What is important for us is reflecting on what makes Bribie Island such a special place for families to live in,” Ms Bullock said.
“Early childhood is a great time to involve children in learning about sustainability and the environment so they develop a lifelong interest and respect for the planet. It also helps children develop a sense of wonder and love for the environment, and the chance to be in the great outdoors.”