Thanks for your interest in the Gardening Club at Woodland
Park Middle School. My name is Jennifer Otillio and I am excited to get to
share my passion for gardening with students here.
About a year ago my youngest daughter was taking an
environmental science class. Through a class research project she learned that Monarch
Butterflies have become highly endangered over the past decade. Scientists
tracking their numbers have noticed a sharp decline in their populations—due
primarily to their habitat being decimated by human expansion.
This inspired me to envision a habitat here at our school
where students could learn basic gardening skills and we could hopefully make a
positive impact in our community by providing a haven for Monarch Butterflies.
We will be planting species of milkweed that are native to
Southern California (Asclepias Eriocarpa
and Asclepias fascicularis). The
garden will be planted on the fenced in slope between the campus and Woodland
We will meet many, but
not all, Fridays right after school
at room 302. Meeting days will be announced on WPTV in the days leading up
to the meeting. We will work in the garden as needed. More maintenance is
expected as milkweed plants become established. Work sessions will conclude about 3:00 – 3:15 PM. Students can be picked up near the garden area
and you can park in the upper lot near the Historic Wood House—on the way to
the public pool.
Requirements to be
part of the club:
Foremost is a good attitude and willingness for
hard work. Students must treat all members of the club (and me!) with respect.
We will be handling gardening tools so a level of responsibility is important.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Many pairs
of gardening gloves will be provided but students are encouraged to bring their
own gloves and a hat if they wish.
Students need not attend every meeting. Workers
with a good attitude are welcome to every work session but they must have a permission slip.
How can you help?
All parent volunteers are welcome. I also welcome donations
of milkweed plants that are native to our region (listed above). Although many
nurseries carry the species Aslepias Curassavica I am not currently planning to
include this species. Since they are not native to our region their benefit to
Monarch Butterflies is currently controversial and under further research.
During vacations like spring or winter break I could use
help watering the garden.
Milkweed seed balls (I can guide you on
how/where to purchase)
Gardening tools (loaned is fine)
Gift cards to Home Depot or Green Thumb Nursery
· Bottled drinking water for hot work days