For the second year in a row, Green Lakes State Park welcomed a corps of student volunteers from Manlius Pebble Hill School and other park friends on April 30.
The entire MPH Lower School (pre-K through fifth grades) participated in stewardship projects beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the area of the park's Urban Gardens.
Guided by experts from Habitat Gardening in Central New York, Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the students helped create native plant gardens and construct worm composting bins. Both projects are designed to provide interpretive programming for park patrons and function as integral parts of park operations. Special plans for the native plant gardens include growing wild sunflowers, rearing maple seedlings, and creating a monarch butterfly garden.
This annual event allows MPH to use the park as an outdoor classroom, and in return, the independent school in DeWitt has signed on to engage in stewardship projects to improve and protect the park. In April, MPH middle school students visited the park to help clean the grounds, make recycled flower pots for use in the April 30 native planting, and decorated recycling bins that will be placed throughout the park.
"We look forward to hosting the MPH Upper School again on June 4, when we are planning even more projects, including invasive plant removal and trail improvements around Green and Round Lakes," park manager Jim Semar said.