KIC Club Builds ‘Insect Hotel’ on Pond Day

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On a summery Friday in late May, student members of the high school’s Keep Islip Clean Club celebrated their 11th annual Pond Day event with a number of important environmental projects that benefited the community.

This year, students built an “insect hotel”” out of stacked wooden pallets and recyclable materials.  According to the club’s adviser, Wayne Mennecke, such insect hotels provide places for beneficial insects and pollinators to hide in a garden. Most insect hotels consist of several different sections that offer shelter or refuge for many types of insects, providing them with nesting facilities, particularly during winter. After the completion of the hotel, KIC students released 200 ladybugs into the courtyard.

Students also repaired a swale drainage system leading into Pardees Pond next to the campus tennis courts. Swales filter rainwater from the parking lot before it runs off into the pond. Toxins, pollutants and oil from cars will be removed from the water as it trickles back into the lake and drains to the Great South Bay. 

Additionally, students reinstalled 10 duck nesting boxes in the lake and beautified the gardens in the courtyard area, assisted by district parents Ivy Englehardt and Ken Phalen. A Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant helped pay for many of the building supplies.

The KIC Club is affiliated with the Town of Islip’s Keep Islip Clean program. Each year, high schools across the township elect junior commissioners who are sworn in during an official ceremony. These students represent their community by sharing projects with other students from across Islip during monthly meetings. Through this leadership program, students serve their community and act as positive role models for others. For the 2016-2017 school year, Islip High School has five junior commissioners who serve as KIC Club officers, often guiding other students in the club and assisting Mennecke.