South Dakota Field Office
Mountain-Prairie Region
garden logo

Let's Go Outside . . .


Office Programs:

SDFO - Home
Endangered Species
Environmental Contaminants
Federal Project Reviews
Wetland Conservation
Ecological Services Responsibilities
Contact Us
Current News
Other South Dakota Fish and Wildlife Service Offices
Wetland Mapper

painted lady

Painted Lady photo by Doug Backlund,

School Groups in Pierre Help with the Garden


Many of the same classrooms have volunteered to grow annual plants for 2014. They include:

Jefferson Elementary:
Amber Stout, 3rd grade, 21 students
Jessica Carr, 3rd grade, 21 students
Sara Albrect, 3rd grade, 21 students
Jill Linn, 2nd grade, 23 students
Lisa Larson, 2nd grade, 19 students
Michele Merrill, 2nd grade, 26 students

Stanley County:
Linda Clair, 5th grade, 16 students
Sarah Lutz, 3rd grade, 15 students
Andrea Siemonsma, 3rd grade, 15 students
Lori Gloe, 2nd grade, 11 students
Karen Somsen, 2nd grade, 9 students
Shari Beeghly, 4th grade, 19 students
Melissa Crawford, 4th grade, 16 students

Saint Joseph:
Rebecca Fisher, 4th grade, 32 students

Abby Gilkerson, 2nd grade, 26 students

Megal Deal, 2nd grade, 22 students
Kay Hanten, 2nd grade, 17 students

Pierre Indian Learning Center
Danae Paxton, 3rd/4th grades, 19 students


Classrooms Grow Plants for the Garden in 2013

Wow - we have had a great response from the schools wanting to help with the garden. At last count, 28 classrooms (over 500 students) from Pierre and Fort Pierre schools have taken up the challenge to plant annual seeds (marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, and dill), watch them grow in the classroom, and then help plant them in the butterfly garden.

planting seeds

Elayna and Tanisha planting seeds.

The following classes are raising plants:

Stanley County
Linda Clair, Fifth grade
Ashleigh Baker, pre-K
Sarah Lutz, Third grade
Mallory Smith, K
Darla Tibbs, K
Leah Peterson, K
Andrea Siemonsma, Third grade
Shari Beeghly, Fourth grade
Melissa Crawford, Fourth grade
Lori Gloe, Second grade

Buchanan Elementary School
Tessa Krueger, Fifth grade
Amber Shaw, K
Mackenzie Blake, Second grade

Jefferson Elementary School
Amber Stout, Third grade
Mona Oehlerking, Fourth grade
Sheila Ingram, Fourth grade
Kerry Rounds, Fourth grade
Miss Weeldryer, Fifth grade helping Christie Zander, Pre-K
Mrs. Jill Linn, Second grade
Mrs. Lisa Larson, Second grade

Saint Josephs Elementary School
Becky Kitts, Fourth grade
Nichole Barnett, First grade

McKinley Elementary School
Abby Gilkerson, Second grade
Lindsay Palmer, First grade

Washington Elementary School
Megan Deal, Second grade
Kay Hanten, Second grade
Tina Glissendorf, K

Oahe Child Development Center
Deseree Corrales


If a photo of your class isn't below, it isn't because I didn't try, it was because I was often too busy helping students plant. I wish I had two more hands for the camera.


Monday, May 13, 2013

The students started planting the plants they grew in their classrooms. Some had success, some didn't, some plants could have used more time.

It wasn't helpful that the temperatures reached the 90s on Monday. All the plants received several drinks of water after being placed in the ground.


Amber Stout's class planting with help from some of their Moms. Thanks to all the Moms that helped.


Maggie Lindsey with the Stanley County Second Graders from Mrs. Gloe's class.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It was still hot - in the 80s and quite windy. Hopefully no one got a picture of Charlie because the wind kept taking her hat, so she tied it on with a shoestring.


Mrs. Gilkerson's Second Graders from McKinley School brought some beautiful big and healthy plants.
She must have a green thumb!


Ms. Tina Gilssendorf brought her Kindergarten class from Washington School. They did a great job listening to instructions and will probably be master gardeners some day.
Pat Buscher, SDGFP District Supervisor, is on the left in the blue shirt.

Wednesday, May 15


Colleen Thompson helps our youngest (2-years old) gardener-to-be from the Oahe Child Development Center.


Mrs. Blake's class hard at work.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The busiest day of planting with approximately 145 students going through the garden today.


Mrs. Clair's fifth grade class from Stanley County.


Miss Weeldryer's Fifth graders helped Mrs. Zander's Pre-K students. Everyone seemed to like helping each other.


Ms. Deal's fourth graders from Washington School

Friday, May 17, 2013

A rather quiet day with only one class planting.


Mrs. Krueger's 5th graders from Buchanan.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The last day of planting. The weather was cool and somewhat misty for the Kindergarten classes from Stanley County. Teachers Ashleigh Baker, Darla Tibbs, Mallory Smith and Leah Peterson have done a great job teaching about butterflies. I kept trying to quiz the Kindergartners, but they beat me to the answers faster than I could ask the questions.

The very last group - Mrs. Linn and Mrs. Larson's classes were rained out. We collected their plants and will get them in the ground for them as tomorrow is the last day of school.



Where is the Garden?

Oahe-Downstream Location Map

Fort Pierre, South Dakota


The Garden is located south of the parking lot by the Visitor Center. A large kiosk is at the edge of the trail.




This project was made possible with a grant from the USFWS Connecting People with Nature - Let's Get Outside fund.

lets go outside

An additional small grant came from the South Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society.


USFWS couldn't do this alone - many thanks go to the staff of South Dakota Game Fish & Parks for their participation during all aspects of the project -

Pat Buscher
Eileen Dowd Stukel
Maggie Lindsey
Dave Ode
Ryan Raynor
Pat Thompson


The Activity Guide by Jen Fowler was made possible through the SDGFP Wildlife Division Small Grants Program.

Thanks go to the many students that participated in classroom activities to help grow plants and decorate the garden.

Thanks to Colleen Thompson for helping coordinate activities at the garden.

A big Thank You to all the volunteers who will help plant the perennials June 1 and 2.

Photos have been provided by:
Doug Backlund and Gary Marrone

Thanks to Gary Marrone for his inspiration to getting all of us interested in butterflies. Look for his book Field Guide to Butterflies of South Dakota, published in 2002.



Last updated: April 1, 2014

Contact us