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Saving the Karner Blue: The Pine Bush Project


Karner Blue butterflyIn 1995, the Pine Bush Project began at Farnsworth Middle School. The program was designed to empower children and allow them to make a real difference in the world around them. It started with one seventh grade teacher and 100 students.

As part of the program, students have become active in authentic scientific research. In collaboration with the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, students conduct long-term studies in ecological restoration. Native gardens at the school provide seeds and plants that are returned to the Pine Bush. Seventh grade students have built eight large exclosures to protect native lupine, one large exclosure to protect the pitch pine seedlings they planted, and have girdled over 35,000 invasive aspen trees. Students have also raised Karner Blue butterflies for release in the Pine Bush.

The effect of their work and the knowledge it generates has made a difference in preserving the Pine Bush.

Picture by Jess of Web Page Design Club (June, 2008 )