When Hillside Intermediate began their butterfly garden back in 1997 they probably had no idea that one day it would grow to 7 acres worth of carefully reconstructed wildlife habitat devoted to biodiversity that would earn awards from institutions like the Jane Goodall Institute and National Wildlife Federation. And no one could have predicted the enormous damage inflicted by vandals intent on destroying their hard work, even plugging up the entry to a bluebird box with golf balls and killing the chicks inside.
Of course, there’s often a brighter side when caring, decent human beings work together. And the outpouring of support shows just how much impact a community effort like this one in Bridgewater can have on an entire town.
As Katrina Macht, a teacher at Hillside Intermediate and the leader of the nature project behind the school put it, "The outpouring of kindness after the vandalism from the community was remarkable."
National Organizations Lend Hand to New Jersey School
After the worst of it, in June, about 100 volunteers turned out to repair the damage. The Humane Society posted a $2,500 reward, because of the five baby bluebirds that were killed and Crime Stoppers put up $500, which they added another $1,000 this week when vandals returned and did more damage to the school.
And community members can’t wait to get their hands on the vandals who’ve turned their nationally recognized effort upside down.
Perhaps a TreeHugger out there in New Jersey who has an inkling of who might be behind this and can offer a tip that can help put these folks where they belong?