MORRIS – The Morris Butterfly Garden at Canal Port Park was recently replanted with the help of a variety of local businesses and volunteers. On Wednesday, it was officially dedicated with a ribbon cutting by the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Last month the garden was replanted and renovated through sponsorships and volunteers from the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS, the Community Foundation of Grundy County and The Conservation Foundation.
The Conservation Foundation was contacted by Morris resident Lindy Kowski who wanted to organize a community group to make improvements to a garden at Canal Port Park that had fallen into disrepair, said Gideon Blustein of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS in a news release. The Conservation Foundation put her in touch with Blustein, also a Coal City resident who has a passion for landscaping with native plants that attract butterflies and other pollinators.
“The group got together and decided to pursue creating a space where all members of the public can gather, enjoy native plant species and, in particular, learn about how to bring native plan gardening to their own homes," Bluestein said. "One important aspect of the garden is the educational signage, meant to encourage visitors to create butterfly gardens of their own.”
On Wednesday Mayor Richard Kopczick, Grundy Chamber President & CEO Christina Van Yperen, Community Foundation Executive Director Julie Buck and Blustein were joined by members of the REALTORS group and community members to celebrate the garden’s completion with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
The original garden was constructed by Morris resident and retired Morris City Engineer Warren Olson who created the garden in memory of his late wife Karen Olson. The replanting project was supported with funding and meeting space by the Community Foundation of Grundy County; the Conservation Foundation provided consulting, assistance with the installation and recruited thousands in plant donations; and Three Rivers Association of REALTORS secured a grant through their state and National association of REALTORS.
Jamie Viebach, Will County Director for the Conservation Foundation, said that the garden is already doing its work.
"We found three monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants," she said. "In about four weeks, they will be beautiful monarch butterflies."
Viebach noted that monarch butterflies only eat and grow on the milkweed plant, and that other butterflies will only eat and grow on other specific plants in the garden.
“This garden provides a beautiful space for residents and visitors to appreciate the beauty of Morris and the environment here,” Van Yperen said. “It’s our pleasure to celebrate it with a ribbon cutting and we are grateful to all who donated money and time to this cause.”
Anyone interested in helping with maintenance or learning more about butterfly gardens contact Gideon Blustein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the chamber visit grundychamber.com or call 815-942-0113.