Arlington Career Center

Arlington Career Center

Arlington, Virginia

On September 24, 2015 students planted a milkweed garden for the monarch butterflies at the Arlington Career Center. The students used a layout plan to place the plants in specific areas to help support the milkweed larvae.

Students at the Career Center have partnered with the Forestry Middle School in Mexico. They participated in one Skype session with their sister school. In the 2017-2018 school year, students will continue to communicate with their sister school.

Friends Community School

Friends Community School

Berwyn Heights, Maryland

Friends Community School is located on Westchester Park Drive in Berwyn Heights, MD next to Greenbelt Park. The school has a Monarch team comprised of three teachers (including Ms. Christine Dunathan and Mr. James Key), the principal (Mr. Larry Clements), and several parents (including Ms. Beth Zinecker). Ms. Zinecker and Ms. Dunathan together serve as leaders of the school’s Monarch team.

The school’s Monarch Biodiversity Garden covers an area of approximately 1000 sq. ft. adjacent to the main athletic field any parking lot. The garden was designed by Dr. Christopher Puttock of Chesapeake Natives, INC. The school financed the Garden through fundraising events and a grant. Compost and mulch were purchased from College Park SmartGrow.

The garden beds and pathways were prepared by a volunteer team of parents, friends, and Rotarians (mainly from the Rotary Club of College Park, but also from Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, DC clubs) on Saturday July 18, 2009, who moved many wheelbarrows of sand, topsoil compost, and mulch. All plants used in the garden were from original Maryland wild sources, purchased from Chesapeake Natives, Inc. These native plants were delivered on September 11, 2009, and planted by students on the same day under the supervision of Dr. Puttock, in beds of about 1015 sq. ft. for each species.

The school is partnering with the Rotary Club of College Park to help maintain the Monarch Biodiversity Garden, as it requires time and attention beyond the possibilities of school’s custodial staff. The Rotary Club of College Park also is contributing funds directly to the Monarch Sister School Program to sustain and develop the role of the school in the program.

Govans Elementary

Govans Elementary School

Baltimore, Maryland

Govans Elementary School (#213) is a member of the Monarch Sister Schools Program serving Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade students in northern Baltimore City.


The Govans Elementary Butterfly Habitat Garden was installed Fall, 2013 with the help of students, teachers, and community volunteers. The plants chosen for the garden are native to the Maryland area and attract butterflies. The garden is located on the school campus and consists of two raised beds, which surround an existing mosaic sculpture. The garden is located in a common area near the entrance of the school and is visible to the community. The MSSP has provided Govans teachers with two Resource Guides (K­2nd grade and 3rd­5th grade curriculum), which address the life sciences, math, and the arts.

The school has worked with MSSP to create garden plant signs that list the name of the native plant species (Latin name and common name), as well as care requirements. With the help of a local non-profit, Art With A Heart,  Govans was able to add mosaic stepping stones to the garden area.

Additionally, in Spring, 2016 the Govans Garden Club began Cultural Exchange Skype session with their Mexican Sister School, Leona Vicario. Students presented on their school garden as well as their community, recent field trip to Great Kids Farm, and their favorite hobbies.

The entire Govans community is very proud of their garden!

John Burroughs Elementary School

John Burroughs Elementary School

Washington, DC

John Burroughs Elementary School is located in North East DC and was one of the first schools MSSP partnered with due to one of our dedicated board members, Donnie Shaw, who is very active in the JBES community.

John Burroughs Elementary School is a STEM school, this means they focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Burroughs has a school-wide focus on data-driven instruction so that teachers strategically pinpoint challenges on all levels enabling all learners to succeed. They utilize the Engineering Design Process to guide instruction, to solve problems through critical thinking and inquiry-based analysis. Their STEM model combined with the Engineering Design Process gives students the edge they need to improve academic achievement in a BIG way.

JBES along with MSSP was awarded a School Garden Grant from The DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education in the Spring of 2015. This garden not only allowed us to expand on the existing garden but we were also able to hire our very first School Garden Coordinator, Karen Davison. Karen was initially placed at JBES as a Food Corps Service member. Karen's role was to implement edible garden and nutritional curriculum. Thanks to the OSSE grant Karen was able to stay at JBES and continue implementing that curriciulum along with the Monarchs and More curriculum.

Because of our ability to hire Karen as a SGC, every grade level at JBES was involved in the edible and pollinator garden. By the end of the 2016 school year a teacher and student survey revealed the majority of the JBES community was comfortable learning and teaching in the gardens.

Morgantown Learning Academy

Morgantown Learning Academy

Morgantown, West Virginia

Morgantown Learning Academy (MLA) is an incorporated, non-church affiliated, non-profit private school. The school was established in 1963 and has expanded to include preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1 - 8. The purpose of Morgantown Learning Academy is to provide an alternative education of the highest quality for children of all racial, cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. The MLA educational program is based on a child-centered philosophy that is committed to teaching children in the ways they learn best.

MLA joined MSSP in January, 2015. Shortly after enrolling in our program MLA began implementing the "Monarchs and More" curriculum in their classrooms. Students also began writing letters and Skyping with their Sister School, Leona Vicario. In the Spring of 2015 MLA also expanded their "Wild Yards" area with the addition of a Pollinator Habitat Garden.

A special aspect of this project is that the MSSP project leader at MLA is also the Spanish teacher, so participating students get to experience interdisciplinary learning across Environmental Science, Spanish, Art, and service learning. Students and parents at MLA and the Mountain SOL as well as the Master Naturalists of Morgantown have collaborated on this project.

Middle school students from MLA have had very positive reactions to their new knowledge about the monarch, saying "It's amazing how one generation of Monarch Butterflies is stronger than others to travel farther distances"(grade 6). Everyone agrees working with a school in another country is cool no matter what the circumstances. Firstly, you are exposed to a whole different culture and world that you have never known. Secondly, there will be kids who will want to know about your life, and you will realize how different and special your life is compared to the kids in a different country. Who, might have the same thought. Finally you can make new friends and find new opportunities.

St. Francis of Assisi School

St. Francis of Assisi School

Baltimore, Maryland

The St. Francis of Assisi School is located at 3617 Harford Road, in the north Baltimore suburb of Belair Edison. The school which serves grades Kindergarten-Eighth has a Monarch team of teachers, and a number of parents led by parent liaison, Alex Gammon.

Their pollinator habitat garden, planted in the Fall of 2009, doubled the total area of the school’s Pollinator Habitat Garden to 420 square feet. The additional area of the garden was designed by Dr. Christopher Puttock of Chesapeake Natives Inc. The Rotary Club of Baltimore was the major financial sponsor of St. Francis of Assisi School's involvement in the Monarch Sister School Program as well as the expansion of the school’s Pollinator Habitat Garden.

On Saturday August 29, 2009, the additional beds to expand the garden were “dug in” by a volunteer team of parents, teachers, Baltimore Rotarians, and SFA students. All plants used in the garden were from original Maryland wild sources, purchased from Chesapeake Natives, Inc. These native plants were delivered on September 1 and 3, 2009, and planted by students from Grades 3-6 classes in the following days under the supervision of principal at the time, Ms. Rutter, and Dr. Puttock.

The St. Francis of Assisi School partners with the Rotary Club of Baltimore and SFA parents for the sustaining maintenance of the Pollinator Habitat Garden.

Naval Academy Primary School

Naval Academy Primary School

Annapolis, Maryland

The Naval Academy Primary School (NAPS) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. NAPS' mission is focused on the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development of children from the Annapolis military community. NAPS provides a structured and nurturing environment that recognizes and acts upon the unique needs and circumstances of these children, many of whom will attend a number of schools, both in the United States and abroad during their academic careers. Many of the faculty and staff are military spouses and parents who are skilled at supporting the military child's transition to a new school and community with new teachers and friends. The overall mission is to provide a structured and nurturing environment where all of NAPS' students can develop to their fullest potential and develop a solid foundation to be successful in middle school, high school, and beyond.

NAPS joined the Monarch Sister Schools Program in the Spring of 2015, thanks to their supportive Director, Devon Clouse, and Resource Teacher, Leslie Mata. NAPS worked closely with MSSP to develop a one of a kind garden for the front of their school. On May 9th, 2015 a large group of teachers, parents, and students helped plant in over 150 native plants in NAPS Pollinator Habitat Garden. The garden at NAPS is shaped like an anchor, as the anchor is in the schools logo and also shows support for the Navy. The garden is thriving in Annapolis and even had both monarch caterpillars and butterflies in the Summer of 2015.

NAPS plans to integrate MSSP's Cultural Exchange program into their classrooms in the 2016-2017 school year.

Woodson Elementary

Woodson Elementary School

Crisfield, Maryland

Woodson Elementary School is located in Crisfield, Maryland on the Eastern Shore. The school serves almost 600 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten-Fifth and is part of the Somserset County Public School System.

Woodson joined MSSP in the Fall of 2014 thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. This grant allowed us to plant 150 plants in two different plots on Woodson's campus. Students from two third grade classes helped with the planting. In the spring of 2016 students prepared a presentation about their hometown of Crisfield and presented it to their Sister School Leona Vicario.

Somerset Intermediate School

Somerset Intermediate School

Westover, Maryland

Somerset Intermediate School is located in Westover, Maryland on the Eastern Shore and serves grades sixth-eighth. The school is part of the Somerset County Public School system. The mission of Somerset Intermediate is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success in the global and technologically complex society in which they live.

Somerset Intermediate joined MSSP in the Fall of 2014 thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. This grant allowed us to plant a Pollinator Habitat Garden in the front of the school with over 150 native plants. This planting was completed by students from the Green Thumb Club, led by Mr. Rush.

Somerset Intermediate has been active with their Sister School in Mexico. The students have sent each other PenPal letters and have talked over Skype.

Springhill Lake Elementary

Springhill Lake Elementary School

Greenbelt, Maryland

Springhill Lake Elementary School a Prince George's County public school located in Greenbelt, Maryland and is home to over 800 students in grades K thru 5.

Springhill Lake has a beautiful pollinator garden located right at the entrance of the school. The garden consist of 5 beds that are regularly maintained by volunteers from the Greenbelt Rotary Club. Springhill Lake is kind enough to hold our Annual Curriculum Workshop each year for our participating teachers.

St. Francis Neighborhood Center

St. Francis Neighborhood Center

Baltimore, Maryland

St. Francis Neighborhood Center is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), community based organization in the Reservoir Hill area of Baltimore. Founded in 1963 as an outreach center for two local churches, was incorporated in 1972 as a neighborhood nonprofit corporation, independent of any church affiliation. Due to its unwavering dedication, the Center has become an iconic presence within the Reservoir Hill community.


In the Fall of 2015, educators from the center joined us at our annual curriculum workshop to learn more about raising monarchs in the classroom. These teachers took that knowledge back to the classroom where students in their after school program were able to successfully raise, tag, and release monarchs. Together with the Center we installed a pollinator habitat garden in the Fall of 2016.