by Brittany Gordon
To celebrate the growth of the school’s community garden and the beauty and promise that arrive with spring, Saint Michael’s Episcopal School will be hosting the first Spring Festival on March 8 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Head of School Jenny Morris says the highlight of the festival will be the spectacular release of hundreds of Painted Lady butterflies that will take place at noon. The festival will begin with a blessing of the school garden and include speakers, prayers and songs by the children, as well as refreshments and snacks. “We are hoping for that sense of ‘Wow!’” Morris says.
“The butterflies give us that uplifting feeling because of springtime.” Butterflies are being sold throughout the community through February 18 at a cost of $20 each, and can be ordered by phoning the school or through PayPal on the school’s website. After purchasing your butterfly, you are able to put the butterfly in memory, honor, or celebration of someone whose name will appear in the festival program. If you cannot make the event to personally release your butterfly, you may have a student release it for you. “We would like the butterfly release to be more community-wide,” says Hallie Gammon, middle and upper school head: the more people who participate, the more butterflies to take flight.
Currently, around 224 are reserved with a target of 300 to be released at the festival for an astounding site to see. “We are encouraging kids to do things that are good for the environment and emphasize the stewardship of God’s creations, which is important to the school,” Gammon says. Gammon says the event was inspired by a similar event held last summer by the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History. The school festival is to celebrate the school’s new garden site. Morris notes they have had a garden for a number of years but recently relocated the garden to a sunnier area so the children can grow more edible foods. They have recently grown cabbages and herbs, but the site was not successful for root crops. With the new location, the children have grown radishes and turnips, all of which they have been able to eat and enjoy while gaining a hands-on educational experience. Morris says the funds raised by the festival will be used for an extension of the new garden as well.
A portion will also go toward the fund for need-based financial aid the school provides to qualifying families. “With some of the money we are hoping to extend the range of produce the children have experienced so we can branch out,” Morris says. The plan is for an annual event so the children have the same sense of fulfillment. The ultimate goal, says Morris, is to plant more in their garden to be able to share with neighbors, as well as be able to have vegetables to share at next year’s festival. Morris says she wants people all across the community to feel welcome at the event, whether they have a connection to the school or not.
As a visual celebration of the wonderful possibilities for growth that always accompany spring, it’s an event ready to take flight. For more contact Jenny Morris at (979)822-2715.