CLUB NOTES: Delta Kappa Gamma, Nu Chapter

Ashley Hegewald talked about creating pollinator gardens during Nu Chapter’s September meeting, held at Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School. After taking a few years off from teaching science at D.C. Everest to be a stay-at-home mom, she volunteered to write a grant to create the gardens at Wittenberg and Birnamwood schools.

With the help of students, teachers and the communities, the gardens continue to be a work in progress. A wet mown grassy area was used to create the Wittenberg garden. Students seeded and plugged the area with Wisconsin native flowering plants after the area was smothered with heavy sheets for 18 months. The high school woods class built birdhouses and benches to create an outdoor classroom.

Hegewald worked to create a community vegetable garden for each school. The Wittenberg garden is situated just outside the lunchroom windows. Once again, students and teachers helped to mulch, plant and harvest the vegetables. Elementary teachers use the area for snack time. In fall, students shuck corn, dry it and pop it in celebration of the harvest.

Hegewald wrote another grant to make better use of the school forest. Called, “Explorer Days — Connect, Explore, Engage,” the goal was to have each class in grades K-5 use the forest one day a month. Story time, nature journaling, hiking, themed stations, etc. are built around a monthly theme. The nature center is used during inclement weather. Hegewald said, “If we don’t love it, we don’t protect it.” She is continually amazed by the students’ sense of wonder.

Nu Chapter is a society of women educators in Shawano and Waupaca counties. The group sponsors a books for newborns program, a $500 scholarship for students pursuing teaching and monetary gifts to local school libraries.