by | Sep 6, 2022

Members of the Lendonwood Board of Directors and the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce gathered at the garden on Thursday, Sept. 1, to officially open the Monarch Waystation. Lendonwood Board President Jim Corbridge, center, cut the ribbon, declaring the special garden open for visitors and butterflies alike. The Waystation, planted with butterfly-friendly flowers and encircled with interpretive signs, is part of a national movement to save the endangered Monarch.

Board members of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Lendonwood Gardens were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, September 1, marking the completion of the garden’s Monarch Waystation.  Supported by a grant from Grove Rotary and other generous donations of time, effort and funds, the butterfly garden already has attracted several types of pollinators and interested visitors.

The Waystation is part of a national movement to help sustain the endangered Monarch along its migratory path through the Midwest and into Mexico.  Monarch populations have declined over recent years, primarily due to loss of habitat.  The Waystation includes several types of milkweed, the only plant on which Monarch caterpillars will feed.  Numerous nectar plants help sustain the emerging butterflies for their long migration.

Lendonwood President Jim Corbridge noted that the Chamber event represented “a slightly different kind of ribbon-cutting.  Rather than a commercial enterprise, we are celebrating an educational and nature-driven enterprise.”

“This whole project was made possible through the work and ideas of many people,” Corbridge said.  He credited Lendonwood Board member Melba Dagy with proposing the idea, supported by other volunteers and donors.  Interpretive signs were produced by local graphic designer Kathi Sikorski.  The walkway and signs were installed by Board members Roger Endo, Ray Geis and John Dunsworth.  Sign posts for the Waystation were fabricated and donated by Goldner Dock Construction of Grove. 

Even as the Waystation was being constructed, Corbridge said, Monarch caterpillars were observed feeding on the milkweed, followed by the emergence of the orange-and-black butterflies.

“After the signs were installed this summer, it was especially gratifying to see children engaged in learning about the Monarch life cycle and the pressures on its population,” he said.

Lendonwood is an eight-acre botanical garden with extensive collections of azaleas and rhododendrons, daylilies, Japanese maples, peonies, dogwoods and more.  Other highlights include the Oklahoma Garden, with its “Oklahoma Proven” examples of flowers, trees and shrubs; and the Angel of Hope Statue and Garden, a place for quiet reflection in a woodland setting.