All Thumbs Garden Club tours wildlife habitat at school

All Thumbs Garden Club conducted its April meeting at Seymour-Jackson Elementary School for a program and tour of the wildlife habitat adjacent to the school.

President Nancy Fleming presided at the meeting, and hostesses were Donna Moore and Bridey Jacobi.

The state convention of The Garden Club of Indiana at New Harmony in late April and the national convention of garden clubs in Louisville in May were discussed. There will be attendees from All Thumbs at both.

Jane Lucas reported on plans for the work day May 14 at Southern Indiana Center for the Arts.

Current officers were elected to serve again and installed by former President Jeanne Morris. They are Fleming, president; Ann Windley, vice president; Sandy Layton, treasurer; and Nancy Bishop, secretary.

Peggy Stark, recently retired teacher at Jackson, presented the program about the Wildcat Habitat, named for the school’s sports teams. The one-and-a-half acre site is a nationally certified wildlife habitat.

Numerous trees that are now 8 years old are home to squirrels. An area has been made to safeguard killdeer, who lay their eggs on the ground.

The garden is in the shape of Indiana and is home to plants native to the state.

One part of the area is planted with native prairie grasses. The sensory garden has plants to see, taste, touch and smell and a wind chime to hear, and a butterfly garden may help save monarch butterflies. Soon, vegetables, sunflowers and popcorn will be planted in raised beds.

The garden is totally planted and cared for by the Habitat Club of fourth- and fifth-graders under the supervision of adults and used by teachers as a tool for a variety of classes.

Students from other schools visit the habitat. And in May, biology students from Seymour High School and a professor from the University of Indianapolis will inventory the plants and animals for Bio Day.

All money spent on the habitat has been raised by the students, and materials for the walks, walls, pond and bridge have been donated by local businesses.

Peggy and Steve Stark, who had the vision for the habitat, have given countless hours of labor to build the habitat before the students could work in it. Although the area is fenced, the public is encouraged to visit this unique site.