Monarch Cycles: The Tradition Continues
At the heart of Summit's Elementary playground sits the pollinator garden; a space filled with plants carefully selected to attract and support monarch butterflies as they start their long journey from New England to Mexico. This fall, students from Children's House stood in the garden to release and bid 'bon voyage' to a host of butterflies.
Each year in the late summer and early fall, the fourth generation of monarchs are born from tiny white eggs as caterpillars that grow plump on the leaves of milkweed plants before pulling themselves into chrysalises and emerging as golden monarch butterflies. Summit Montessori students bear witness to this cycle of nature in their classroom thanks to the efforts of Children's House teacher, Liz Love, who spots and collects the eggs and caterpillars in her travels through Massachusetts. For nearly a decade, she has built and distributed habitats to all of Summit's classrooms where the cycle unfolds before the children's eyes. Daily observations on status, chronicling in journals, laying out 3-part cards on monarch growth, and learning the terms of the various parts of the cycle occupy the class as they watch the caterpillars turn to butterflies. Upon release, these butterflies will journey 3,000 miles over two months, representing the last and longest living generation before the breeding cycle begins again.
Summit Montessori is proud to be guardians of monarch butterflies and grateful to the funds raised by a previous generation of families to support the pollinator garden that plays host to these wonders of nature!