Students at Mark Twain Elementary returned this school year to an outdoor educational butterfly garden. The garden, which was built by Westerville Central High School junior Alexander Kennedy, was constructed in an underutilized section of the schoolyard that formerly contained playground equipment. The garden was designed to include perennial plants and flowers for ease of maintenance while providing a beautiful and tranquil space for children to explore and learn. Mark Twain teachers plan to use the garden as a teaching aid to help youngsters in all grades learn about the butterfly lifecycle. Mark Twain Principal Vicki Moss was the project sponsor. She approved the idea and provided feedback from conception through construction. Because of this undertaking, pupils at Mark Twain are learning to be butterfly ambassadors.
Kennedy planned, designed, fundraised and organized the project, and led a group of 25 volunteers in the construction of the garden for his Eagle Scout project in late May 2017. He maintained the garden throughout the summer with the help of volunteers, including several Mark Twain students. The garden was dedicated to the students of Mark Twain with a commemorative plaque in August 2017. Money was raised through private donations and the remaining funds were donated to the Mark Twain PTA. Kennedy, who started his scouting journey as a Cub in Pack 966 and continues as a Boy Scout in Troop 64, earned his Eagle Scout rank in July 2017.