The Heartwood School is a specialized education center for students with moderate to severe cognitive impairments, severe multiple impairments, autism spectrum disorders and traumatic brain injuries. Students who attend Heartwood School can be anywhere from 3 to 26 years old.  With the capacity for around 150 students, all with such a wide range of ages and learning challenges, it is very important to the Heartwood School staff to be able to personalize curriculum on a per student basis.  It was in this spirit that the Heartwood Staff became interested in complimenting their existing infrastructure with an outdoor sensory garden.  They approached the Michigan State University Horticulture Club to not only aid in the development of a formalized design for the garden but to also help in the construction and renovation needed on the garden site.  Quite literally 'just down the road' from MSU, Heartwood is located straight down Hagadorn Road in Mason, MI.

The design phase has been completed for the sensory garden and now the Michigan State Horticulture Club is excited to begin the first of a series installations needed to bring this very special project to life.  The garden will begin with the installation of the native plant border that will double as a registered Monarch sanctuary or waystation.  
The Michigan State Horticulture Club would especially like to thank the staff of Wild Type Native Plant Nursery in Mason, MI for donating the plants to make this section of the garden possible.  To learn more about Michigan native plants and how to attract more native butterflies and songbirds to your own yard please visit 
So, what exactly is a Monarch waystation?    To learn more about waystations and how to add a registered stop in your own yard for the yearly Monarch migration, please visit