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New pollinator garden at McVay Elementary comes to life thanks to McVay parent, Noon Rotary Club of Westerville

New pollinator garden at McVay Elementary comes to life thanks to McVay parent, Noon Rotary Club of Westerville

Erin Salsbery, whose two sons attend McVay Elementary, grew up surrounded by nature and wanted students to experience that same magic. 

For the past year, she envisioned a school garden that could serve as an outdoor learning lab, introducing students to the plant, insect and animal life around them. What started as an idea became a community project embraced by the PTA, area businesses and the Noon Rotary Club of Westerville.

During McVay’s Art Showcase on Thursday night, Salsbery, Rotary Club members and Interim Principal Rachel Lacy gathered for the dedication of a new pollinator garden near the entrance of the school.

“It’s a food forest now for over 40 types of moths and butterflies and the plants were all selected to be specific host plants to certain butterflies,” Salsbery said.

The garden features flowers and plants that bloom across different points of the season to attract different butterflies and moths. It also includes seating to host class visits. 

Lacy said the garden offers students an opportunity to see in real-time the topics they cover in their science lessons such as pollinators and habitats. 

When Rotary Club members heard of Salsbery’s idea, they offered their support, helping to remove invasive plants and preparing the grounds so they could plant in the spring. 

And as momentum started to build on the garden, so did additional support. Baker's Acres Greenhouse as well as McVay’s PTA donated money for the project. Several local plant shops and nurseries provided free plants. 

“It was really, truly a community effort,” she said. 
 

  • McVay Elementary
  • Westerville City Schools

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