Community

Butterfly Garden at Hondondo Creek Trail

The Alamo Heights – Terrell Hills Garden Club officially dedicated its butterfly garden in San Antonio, Texas on May 4, 2015.  The celebration was the culmination of two years of hard work, research and planning led by members Kathleen Danysh and Janie Morrison.  The city of Alamo Heights was helpful from the start, agreeing to the site we chose for the garden and also allowing us to use the city water through our irrigation system at no cost to us.  Members of the community, the city council, families from the local elementary schools, and garden club members attended the dedication. Third graders from Cambridge Elementary School in the AHISD released Painted Lady butterflies they had raised from butterfly kits provided by the Garden Club.  Informational signs were placed throughout the area and butterfly and caterpillar cookies were provided.

Over the years, the use of the butterfly garden as a learning tool has expanded to include more local schools and scout groups and the tradition of holding an annual butterfly release has continued. The Garden Club provides butterfly kits to several elementary schools to use at the release.  The schools use the kits in their classes to show what the caterpillars eat, the different stages of development, and then students bring them to the garden to be released.  Because of the butterfly release, awareness of the garden and pollinators has grown. The Cambridge Elementary Garden Club, an after school program, has visited the garden several times to learn about native plants, pollinators, and the monarch migration.  They continue to attend our events, and have also planted their own pollinator garden at their school.  After receiving butterfly kits supplied by AHTHGC, and attending a release, St. Luke’s Episcopal School is planning its own pollinator garden.  Over the summer, the Woodridge Elementary Summer Program invited us to speak about the garden to the second grade children.  Girl Scout groups have also been coming to the garden to learn about butterflies and plants and to help earn different badges. Watching an egg grow into a butterfly has been fun and exciting for both the Garden Club families and the children.  Both the importance and fun of taking care of pollinators is spreading through the learning tool our butterfly garden provides.

Monarch Watch, a program dedicated to sustaining Monarch butterfly habitats, has recognized the AHTH Garden Club butterfly garden.  Monarch Watch has awarded our garden club with a certification as a Monarch Waystation.

Glorieta Garden in Brackenridge Park

Twelve trees donated by the Alamo Heights – Terrell Hills Garden Club (AHTHGC) as part of the Conservation and Centennial Trees project were installed in the “Glorieta” garden courtyard located at the intersection of four walking paths in Brackenridge Park. Selected trees include the hardy natives Texas Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) and Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana) and a shade loving cultivar, Forest Pansy Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’). At the center of the Glorieta (Spanish for “roundabout”) is a sculpture by San Antonio artist Anne Wallace.The club’s tree donation supports the park department’s efforts to plant more than 450,000 trees and reach 40% canopy coverage in San Antonio.

KIPP Aspire Academy

Located in downtown San Antonio, the KIPP Aspire Academy challenges children to achieve high standards. The AHTHGC project provided funds and manpower to landscape the school grounds. Lisa Walker, landscape designer and AHTHGC member created a plan with drought-tolerant trees and plants. Oaks, palm trees, mountain laurels, agave, flowers and grasses were planted to create a dramatic display of colors and textures against the beige, windowless building.