Thousands of ladybugs took flight in Gahanna on Tuesday, April 22.

Thousands of ladybugs took flight in Gahanna on Tuesday, April 22.

In celebration of Earth Day, more than 100 preschoolers from the Enchanted Care Learning Center, 4575 Morse Road, released thousands of ladybugs into the environment in an effort to improve the health of local vegetation.

Principal Kristen Simmons said the school annually recognizes Earth Day, which was first celebrated in 1970. She said the students, ages 3-5, placed ladybugs back into the environment on plants, flowers and trees within the school grounds.

Simmons said Enchanted Care Learning Center's celebration served as an opportunity to combine learning with fun, as students have been studying about the biological defense system ladybugs create for the environment.

As one of nature's most helpful creatures, she said, ladybugs feed on insects that are harmful to gardens, trees and shrubs.

"They've been learning about different things for Earth Day," Simmons said. "They learned about our earth, the environment, gardening and things like that. We ordered ladybugs from the Gardening Zone, a place online where you can order different things for your garden."

As part of the celebration, students also decorated reusable grocery bags with an Earth Day theme and donated them to the StoneRidge Plaza Kroger store.

"We decorated about 60 bags and asked Kroger to bag groceries with them on Earth Day," Simmons said.