PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — PECO has awarded a $10,000 grant to Bucks County Community College to fund the restoration of three habitats to support Monarch Butterflies and other species in Tyler State Park.

“The whole idea of this is to get a living laboratory, in a sense, for students to become involved in research,” said Bucks County Community College Ecology Professor Mike Bernarsky.

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Bernarsky says a mix of native plants will provide nectar for the adult Monarchs, and one in particular, common milkweed, will be an edible nursery for their caterpillars. But the project won’t just benefit one species.

“We’ll probably get 30, 40, 50 species of butterflies using this thing once the whole operation gets going,” he said.

Bernarsky says the public, especially school kids, will also benefit through the park’s environmental program.

“They will actually go out with young children, especially,” he said, “and they will observe these butterflies.”

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Bernarsky sees the effort as an interesting convergance.

“You’ve got a state agency, with the park; then you’ve got a utility, a private company,” he said, “then you’ve got this educational institution, making this triad.”

But since it’s a long-term project, Bernarsky says more funds will be needed. And he’s not shy about asking.

“Does KYW have money?” he joked.

 

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