NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Columbus Elementary School second-graders helped assemble a wooden bed for an outdoor garden recently with the hope that, if you build it, they will buzz.
It is the first of five garden beds that will be built, not only to grow colorful flowers, but to create a mini-ecosystem where bees hover, butterflies flit and birds wing in for visits.
"I love planting flowers, because they give a good scent and that attracts the bees," said student Kaily Chavez. "It's important for the bees because that's their food."
Students planted daffodil bulbs in the first 2.5-foot-by-6-foot bed and are busy predicting when the plants will sprout, bloom and die off. But the real attraction for the flying pollinators will be the perennials the students will plant in the other four beds come spring.
The garden came to the school with a $1,000 Feed A Bee grant from Bayer.
"The goal is to learn about life cycles and about how plants and animals interact," said the school's science coordinator Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn. "They'll do that by observing plant growth to learn about their life cycles and the role that bees and other pollinators play in plant reproduction - and in the creation of our food."
To second-graders like Abigail Godoy, the attraction to the activity is that it is very hands-on and down-to-earth. After planting the bulbs, she was looking forward to seeing what comes up when winter passes.
"There's always a new thing to see in the spring," she said.