Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

One of our students at José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy is conducting research on developing an Atala butterfly colony in a suburban environment.

Over the past year, the Green Club at José Martí MAST has installed native planting on relatively large grounds (0.5 acre) that were previously occupied by MDCPS portable buildings. As part of a pineland section of the installation, we have planted coontie, a cyad which is the only native food source for the Atala caterpillar. We currently have a dozen Atalas in chrysalis and are hoping to release them in an enclosure that includes the coontie when they emerge as butterflies. Three of the Atla butterflies emerged over the weekend (May 4, 2013)

Fairchild Challenge Website: www.fairchildgarden.org/education/fairchildchallenge/frequentlyaskedquestions

Green Club Website: teachers.dadeschools.net/akearns/MartiMASTGreenClub/Green_Club/Welcome.html

The Green Club at Work on the Native Forest

Butterfly Emerging from its Chrysalis