CUTLER BAY, FL—The Town of Cutler Bay’s Public Works Department conducted the Earth Day and Butterfly Garden event on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at Dr. E. L. Whigham Elementary this year—a tradition the Public Works staff holds at different schools each year to educate students. Town staff prepared and presented four interactive stations to students in Pre-K through 5th Grade, where they learned about stormwater runoff, the effects of pollution, the water cycle and which concluded with the planting of the new butterfly garden by the school’s entrance. Mayor Tim Meerbott also joined Town staff during the presentation and took part in the planting of the butterfly garden.
Students began the experience at the first station—a presentation on stormwater runoff directed by the Town’s Public Works Director, Alfredo Quintero. Following the presentation, students were encouraged to ask questions and make observations.
The second station, manned by Stormwater Utility Manager Yenier Vega, allowed students to learn about stormwater runoff pollution through a hands-on experience involving a miniature urban watershed model. The students first sprinkled the miniature model with colored sprinkles—which acted as pollutants—then used spray bottles to replicate the effect of rain. The process demonstrated within seconds how soils and pollutants could by carried by rain and, ultimately, reach our water sources.
The third station involved a video presentation demonstrating the water cycle. Students observed how water evaporates, condensates, precipitates, infiltrates, runs off, and collects into the major water systems of the earth.
The fourth and final station involved the planting of the School’s Butterfly Garden. The Town purchased and donated approximately 300 flowers and plants to the school, which included Dwarf Pentas, Ruellias, Ruby Red Pentas, Buddleias, and Lantanas, to name a few. Students partnered up to transplant the potted plants to the new butterfly garden by the school’s entrance, as well as spread red mulch around the garden.
“It was very rewarding to see our future Town leaders and residents learn ways to make our community and planet greener while actively participating in its beautification,” stated Mayor Tim Meerbott. “Town staff did a great job in providing an effective educational experience where students could truly understand the effects of pollution, while learning ways they can individually take to make our community greener.”
This event was one of several educational events the Town’s Public Works department holds every year to help raise awareness on environmental topics and issues.
For more information please visit the Town’s website at www.cutlerbay-fl.gov or call the Town’s Public Works Department at (305) 234-4262.