Junior Ranger Leaders with the “Be the Biologist” Junior Ranger Program through the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge attended the Liberty ISD School Board Meeting Tuesday.
Upon introducing themselves, the students - Kahleya Shirkey, Harper Thomas, Nolan McDonnel, Logan McNeil, Hutton Evans, and Landry Lamelle – first thanked Liberty ISD for allowing them to use the Liberty Elementary School STEM Center for their activities. After discussing what they’ve learned in the program, they asked the board’s permission to make a native wildflower area in the 1/3 acre retention pond in front of the STEM Center. Currently, the trees aren’t old enough to produce pollen, nectar, and places for insects to hide. According to the students, a no-mow wildflower area would make a great addition to the small trees already planted.
In addition, they requested a small accessible footbridge over the gap in the berm to give access for those who have special needs or require more support to visit the outdoors.
Additionally, the Rangers discussed the needs of Monarch butterflies and their need for food and a place to lay their eggs along their migration route from Mexico to Canada. A wildflower area would provide resources for the Monarchs to thrive and give visitors the opportunities to view the butterflies and other insects up close.
According to the kids, creating a space for native Texas species will benefit us, the Monarchs, and all the other organisms in our ecosystem.