Webster Parish Students Help the Ecosystem with a Unique Garden

SIBLEY, La. (KSLA) – Students at Lakeside Junior and Senior High School in Sibley, La., learn about nature and the role plants play in the ecosystem.

Lakeside is the first school in Louisiana to grow a pollinator garden alongside nonprofit Quail Forever. Quail Forever biologist Sabrina Claeys personally helped the students with the garden.

Last year the students attempted to grow milkweed, but unfortunately the crop did not survive. That’s when Monarchwatch.org stepped in and donated a new batch that was planted in the garden. As it grows, milkweed will attract monarch butterflies heading north from Mexico after their winter hibernation. Monarch butterflies are an endangered species and only lay their eggs in milkweed plants.

As the garden grows more pollinators will be attracted including bees, beetles and even ants to help spread the pollen.

β€œFor me, I hope kids will understand that even small changes they make in everyday life can have a big outcome for organisms,” said Lakeside science teacher Angela Glasscock.

The pollinator garden should be in full bloom and helping the ecosystem by the time the students who planted it are ready to graduate.

A number of nonprofits and businesses have contributed to this project, including Quail Forever, Pheasant Forever, Monarchwatch.org, Ace Hardware, and Minden Farm and Garden.

Lakeside’s decision to cultivate this pollinator garden, and to be the first in Louisiana to do so, is a step forward in helping our ecosystem. We can hope that other schools and organizations will follow the example of the school.

Quail Forever’s mission is to conserve quail, pheasant and other wildlife through habitat improvement, public access, education and conservation advocacy. For more information about the nonprofit, visit https://www.quailforever.org/.