Dispatches: Native Plants and Art Club projects


A Sheridan School student describes why the spicebush is important to animals. Image courtesy: Sheridan School

Native plants are better for the animals, and us!

by Sheridan School’s 2nd Grade Science Class

We think people should plant more native plants. A native plant is a plant that is from a certain place. Native plants help because our native animals know how to use them for food and shelter. Native plants can help people, the environment and other animals.

There are many examples of how native plants help animals:

The serviceberry can provide berries for 58 different types of animals! Birds and chipmunks eat the berries. Coyotes might even come to hunt the animals that are attracted by the serviceberry and to eat the berries too.

Butterflies drink the nectar from the golden alexanders plant. The black swallowtail and the eastern-tailed blue use the golden alexanders plant for food. Assassin bugs can hide in the golden alexanders flowers, and when another insect comes for nectar, it pounces and sucks the juices out.

Violet flowers give nectar and some caterpillars eat the leaves. Mice and birds eat the seeds in the fall. If aphids start living on your violets, that’s ok because then ladybugs will come and eat the aphids!

Butterflies use spicebush to lay their eggs. When the larvae hatch they can eat the leaves. They wrap themselves up in the leaves to hide from predators. Spicebush helps rabbits in the winter because they can eat the twigs. If there weren’t spicebush, the rabbits wouldn’t have anything to eat.

If you just plant a random plant you might not be helping wildlife. A native plant is better for the animals, so you should plant them.

Plants also create oxygen and shade, so if you can, try to be near a plant!


Art Club brings favorite things together after school

by Quinn S. & Evan S. – Our Lady of Victory 7th and 3rd graders

Evan and I are members of the Our Lady of Victory Art Club. We meet for art club after school on Monday. We get to make fun and special projects that we would not be able to make at home. Our last project was an accordion folder that had different pieces of paper put together and connected like an accordion. We also made a wooden box and decorated it with designs carved into thin metal sheets.  My project was a rainy day theme. We has a lot of fun making these projects and spending time with friends. We were allowed to make art, eat a snack, and talk with friends. Those are our three favorite things, and we get them all in an hour and fifteen minutes.

Last Monday all of our work paid off when we had an arts walk to celebrate the end of art club this year. Our parents, friends, and teachers came and saw what we were working on in our club. We had our projects out for display in the art room, so people could walk around and see it. While people looked at our art, there were many snacks and drinks for everybody to enjoy. We had sparkling cider, cookies, cheese, and crackers. Our guests all loved our art club projects. We cannot wait to go to art club again next year.