Ribbon Cut

Downtown Welcome Garden extends its welcome to butterflies

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[July 19, 2022]   On Friday evening, the Logan County Tourism Bureau with assistance by the LDN ribbon cutters hosted a ribbon cutting event at the new Monarch Flyway Gardens at the Welcome Garden in Lincoln.

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 Welcome Garden.

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 community.”

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.

[Nila Smith]

Thanks to all the supporters of the project


Thanks to the planters who came out to help

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