The monarch flyway garden is a collaborative
effort between the Logan County Tourism Bureau, the Illinois Route
66 Scenic Byways, Route 66 Monarch flyway project with assistance
from the Illinois Native Plant Society.
On hand for the ribbon cut on Friday evening were LCTB Director
Alice Roate and Tourism Assistant Lexie Groves holding the scissor
with assistance from Joan Moody, who played a large part in helping
get the garden planted. Others behind the ribbon included Jim
Ireland, who worked on the construction of the raised beds, and
Pamela Moriearty and Bev Noble, who also assisted with the planting.
Representing the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byways was Geoff Ladd.
Representing the city were Mayor Tracy Welch, Aldermen Kevin Bateman
and Tony Zurkammer, along with Rick Hoefle, who is an alderman and
member of the LCTB Board of Directors, and City Clerk Peggy Bateman.
Holding the ribbon for the cut was Karen Hargis with the LDN ribbon
cutters and Alderman Bateman.
Roate spoke on behalf of the LCTB first thanking the large crowd
gathered to witness the ribbon cutting and then moving on to thank
the many people who had helped with the planting, the local
businesses that had donated and the Scenic Byway and Monarch Flyway
Association. Roate was happy to see the project come together so
well and to see such a project become part of the Lincoln Route 66
Ladd said he saw it as “one small step for monarch butterflies and
one giant step for mankind.”
Mayor Welch said that the project was a shining example of how ideas
that are worthwhile can come together for good. He said it was good
to see the welcome garden continue to grow and develop. He said he
didn’t think anyone really knew what this would become when the
tourism bureau came to the city with the idea, but it is good and it
is a pleasant welcome for people coming into the city traveling
Route 66. He said, “As the flowers grow hopefully people will see
them and it will make them want to stop in our town.”
Nila Smith was serving as the emcee for the ribbon cut as one of the
LDN Ribbon Cutters, but is also a member of the LCTB Board of
Directors. She recounted how the city owned lot became the garden,
reminding everyone that it was a partnership effort that involved
the city, the LCTB, the financial support of many downtown
businesses and the vision of the late Leslie Hoefle. She commented,
“The Welcome Garden was meant to welcome visitors into the community
as they travel Route 66, so it is quite fitting that the monarch
gardens should be located here, also welcoming butterflies into our
With the speeches concluded the posed pictures were taken with
Moody, Roate and Groves holding the scissor. As the crowd assisted
with the count down, the trio of ladies snipped the ribbon.
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Everyone was reminded that there were a lot of
exciting activities going on just a block away around the Logan
County Courthouse Square. All were encouraged to linger in the
garden and enjoy it, then head on to the first Third Fridays
Downtown event of the season in Lincoln.
Thanks to all the
supporters of the project
Thanks to the
planters who came out to help