The name may sound destructive, but South Bosque Elementary School’s first Bluebonnet Stomp is just what the state flower needs.
More than 600 elementary students spent last week spreading seeds in a field at the front of the school and jumping on them to settle them in place. But the stomping could only start after the students learned the history behind the wildflower, said Heather White, a Parent Teacher Association member who coordinated the event with school officials.
Other elementary campuses across Texas seed bluebonnets, and South Bosque’s Bluebonnet Stomp makes it the second Midway Independent School District school that has dedicated land to create perfect photo opportunities to showcase Texas pride and culture come springtime, parents and school officials said.
“It’s not only an easy way for kids to see the life cycle of a plant, but it is a public service,” said Marla Jaynes, a Spring Valley Elementary School first-grade teacher. “It’s something kids can be proud of for doing themselves and it’s a surprisingly easy gift to the community.”
Jaynes and her students have seeded bluebonnets on the campus property for 15 years. The effort started as a secret, but as more flowers grew and Spring Valley students created more fields, more residents stopped to take photos and started asking how the flowers came to be, she said.
“Now the younger siblings coming in know their older siblings did that, and they come in and they’re pretty excited about it,” Jaynes said.
Caring for flowers
South Bosque parents hope their children’s efforts will spur a similar reaction as they teach them about caring for the flowers, they said. While it is not illegal to pick the state flower, laws prohibit damaging or destroying flowers on government property, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“It’s neat to see them being part of the process and see them beautify the school and beautify the area,” said Thomas Brian White, a garden keeper and South Bosque volunteer. “Everyone takes pictures in the bluebonnet fields, and to be able to give them a sense of what it takes to make that happen is really kind of nice.”
As Heather White instructed a group of 60 first- through fourth-graders Thursday afternoon to scatter their seeds on the ground, she said the Bluebonnet Stomp is an easy way to explain to students that bluebonnet seeds should only be placed about an eighth of an inch into the ground.
She then instructed the students to all jump at one time, on the count of three.
“It’s crazy and fun because it was loud and we went high,” second-grader Kinsley Young said. “I learned don’t stomp on bluebonnets so many times because if you keep stomping on them, then it’ll go down deeper and take a while to come up.”
The parents hope the students will be able to continue to appreciate what they accomplished last week as they grow older, Heather White said. They will be able to pass what they learned on to the students that follow or even their own kids one day.
“I hope they don’t pick them or do anything to them so they know they’re our state flower,” second-grader Liz Meyer said.