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Published April 28th, 2021
Students and community respond to help monarchs in peril
Saklan sixth-graders Sadie Zippin and Sonia Perkins show their monarch poster. Photos provided

The Moraga Garden Club has partnered with Saklan School, Campolindo High School and Saint Mary's College to support its Pollinator Habitat Gardens, supplying them with milkweed plants (for monarch larvae) and nectar flowering plants (for the adult monarchs) and educational resources.
Saklan sixth-grade science teacher Vickie Obenchain is currently teaching a unit on climate change and endangered species. Sixth-graders participated in a "Vote with your Change" to select the favorite endangered species. Each student selected an endangered species to learn about, determining where they are located, the level of threat, why the species is important, and what while happen if they become extinct. They then did a poster presentation to the whole sixth grade, and a "Species Election," with each penny equaling one vote.
"Our election ran at our school last week. The students promoted their species with posters, fliers and stickers asking the students to vote for their favorite species; either the Beluga, Adelie Penguin, Monarch Butterfly, Arctic Fox, or the Red Panda," Obenchain said. "All students were incredibly passionate; sharing the need to save their species."
Obenchain said it was a tight race, but the monarch butterfly won the election. "After a week of having students generously vote, we raised $400 between all the different species (which will be donated to a national organization which helps conserve these species)."
Two students, Sadie Zippin and Sonia Perkins, who chose monarch butterflies said, "We had no idea the Western Monarchs had decreased by 99%. We know lots of other people don't know that and we want to educate people. And they are really beautiful!"
Campolindo students in the School Garden planted milkweed April 19 donated by Moraga Garden Club, as part of their Earth Day Celebration. Campo teacher Justin Seligman and Librarian Sarah Morgan are the advisors for the School Garden.
Moraga is on the flyway for monarchs and is only eight miles from an overwintering site at Lake Merritt. Planting native milkweed in home gardens, along with flowering nectar plants, supports this fragile population. Names of donors of $500 or more to the Moraga for Monarchs will be listed on a metal plaque at the site, but the deadline to be added to this plaque is May 31.
For more information, email moragaformonarchs@gmail.com.

Campo students in the School Garden plant milkweed on April 19. Photos provided

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