Photo by Mary Ann Grumman

Butterfly Garden

{Planted 1995}


The Evanston Butterfly Garden began as a club Conservation Project in 1995 after our club’s visit to the Ryerson Woods Forest Preserve, where we heard a fascinating young nature leader give a wonderful slide presentation on “The Life of a Butterfly,” followed by a walk to the Woods’ butterfly garden. It was a beautiful October day and the garden, which had been touched by frost, was lying fallow. She described all the native plants and perennials that were planted, so as to best attract butterflies

We were so impressed at the end of the tour that we discussed having our own Butterfly Garden as a project of our Conservation Committee. We later found a site, near our club’s Wildflower Garden, located at the historic Grosse Pointe Lighthouse Landing Park, in northeastern Evanston. Our committee prepared the land, and planted the flowers, starting some from seeds.

The results have been quite magical! People walk to the Lighthouse and the restored Keeper’s House through the densely shaded Wildflower Garden. Then they come upon a sunny spot in front of the lighthouse’s old Fog House where the Butterfly Garden is planted. Just east of this garden are dunes filled with wildflowers, the beach, and Lake Michigan. It is truly a breathtaking site!

We are now using the site to teach children about butterflies, their habitat and life cycles. The Evanston Ecology Center is using the Butterfly Garden for its Land Stewardship Summer Camp. We have created a unit study of the butterfly at the Evanston Child Care Center for its classes for five-year olds.

Our Board of Gardeners and club members have enthusiastically supported this project since its inception.

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