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Butterfly garden dedication at Freedom Park, June 26

PRESCOTT -- The butterfly garden at Freedom Park in Prescott will be officially dedicated at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 26.

For the last two years, children in grades 4-6 at Malone Elementary, St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the Prescott Middle School have held a "Freedom Run" to raise money for the design, construction and planting of a butterfly garden in Freedom Park. In addition, donations have come from parents, grandparents, and various Prescott businesses and companies.

The garden has several features to attract butterflies and birds, such as a small waterfall and a mineral puddle. The sounds of the water flowing over rocks will draw free-flying butterflies to the garden, which will provide both food sources and plants that will support their caterpillars. Other butterflies will use the mineral bath to find salts they need to complete their life cycle. The native plants in the garden will be those preferred by butterflies native to West Central Wisconsin. Large boulders provide sites for the insects to rest, find shelter and warm their bodies on cool days.

There will be multiple opportunities all summer to learn more about butterfly gardens and the life cycle of butterflies. Area high school students are volunteering to be "Butterfly Garden Hosts" this summer, as they will provide the link between the garden and people who want to learn about it and the butterflies it is meant to attract. Also, through a partnership with the Prescott Public Library Summer Reading program, children will find ways to visit the garden and explore the world of insects, butterflies, spiders and other creatures that find a home in gardens.