Elizabeth wanted to make a difference in the lives of children through her Gold Award project by helping a local school and community learn more about nature. To meet these goals, she constructed a butterfly garden at F. E. Burleson Elementary School in Hartselle, to be used in their outdoor classroom. She consulted with the Alabama Wildlife Federation teaching coordinator about landscaping and garden construction, researched native butterflies and host plants specific to the area, and organized volunteers and donors to help with the project. Once the garden was planted, she was able to teach classes about butterflies, their life cycles and habits, how to feed them, and why conservation is important. Elizabeth found the children’s excitement when seeing a butterfly at the garden to be especially gratifying and received positive feedback from the teachers. She has coordinated with the after school program, students in the school, local Girl Scouts and school staff to maintain the garden so it will continue to be a major teaching tool in the outdoor classroom in the future.
Elizabeth graduated from Hartselle High School in May 2009 and currently attends the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Her parents are James and Lisa of Decatur.