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BASF unveils butterfly garden at Orchard Knob Elementary School


Orchard Knob Elementary School students are receiving a unique lesson in sustainability through a newly installed pollinator garden on the school’s campus. By nurturing plants, the students will help to provide a habitat for monarch butterflies and to restore the dwindling population. The Chattanooga garden is the latest in BASF’s nationwide biodiversity initiative called the Living Acres Monarch Challenge.

For weeks, students tended to the garden installed by BASF employees and watered the flowers. Before the end of school, they launched newly-formed butterflies, which had been undergoing metamorphosis while in the students’ care.

“Through this monarch waystation, we can educate and empower the next generation about environmental protection and sustainability,” said Rob Gagliano, Director of the BASF site in Chattanooga. “Ensuring a healthy monarch butterfly population teaches an important lesson in environmental awareness while allowing children to connect with nature.”

BASF launched the Living Acres Monarch Challenge to show how modern agriculture can coexist with sanctuaries for monarchs and the important role it plays in promoting biodiversity for generations to come. The number of monarchs has dramatically declined in the United States in recent years due to issues like overwintering habitat loss, extreme weather events, low nectar sources and sparse milkweed – the only plant that provides monarchs with food for reproduction. Nurturing the milkweed plants allows students to experience how important habitats are to wildlife surrounding them.

“Interactive lessons outside the classroom are very valuable to our students,” said LaFrederick Thirkill, principal of Orchard Knob Elementary School. “Instilling an appreciation of nature gives children a sense of their footprint in the world. We are grateful BASF chose our campus for the conservation initiative and appreciate the educational opportunities that come with it.”

To learn more about the Monarch Challenge, please visit

For more information about BASF in Tennessee, visit

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 20,000 employees in North America and had sales of $19.7 billion in 2018. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at

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