07/19/10 — Garden takes flight

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Garden takes flight

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on July 19, 2010 1:46 PM

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A butterfly lands on a flower in the butterfly garden.

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Cooperative Extension horticulture agent Karen Blaedow removes unwanted debris from the Butterfly Garden at Stoney Creek Park. The Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department, local Master Gardeners and Ms. Blaedow joined forces to create the attraction, which is in the shape of a butterfly.

Her eyes focused on a large orange butterfly, Alyia Wilson gave chase -- clapping her hands as she made her way around the plants that make up one of the newest features at Stoney Creek Park.

"Don't clap at it girl," her mother, Tasha, yelled from a park bench a few feet away. "You're gonna hurt it."

"I just want to catch it," the 6-year-old replied. "I can keep it in my room."

Alyia is one of many Goldsboro residents who have recently discovered the latest attraction at the Ash Street site: a butterfly garden installed courtesy of a government grant and the work of a local group of master gardeners.

"I know a lot of people have come by, especially kids," said Joan Brindley, one of the designers of the butterfly-shaped plot. "Kids always love bugs, so it's a great little area."

It started with a design -- large wings that would be filled in with plants often associated with caterpillars and butterflies: butterfly bushes, purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, stonecrops and more.

And by the beginning of the summer, the garden was complete.

But the project was more than simply a way for local gardeners to test their skills.

For Mrs. Brindley, it was a way to continue the transformation of property known as "a wasteland" after Hurricane Floyd rolled through at the turn of the century.

Connie Kammler remembers the storm well.

Her father's home on Walnut Street was among those flooded out by it.

So being a part of the rebirth of Stoney Creek Park, for her, is special.

"I think it's wonderful," she said.

Mrs. Brindley agrees.

"It's great," she said. "It's fantastic to have somewhere to go."

Wayne County Cooper-ative Extension horticulture agent Karen Blaedow said the work completed by the master gardeners likely saved the city thousands in design work and labor associated with the project.

But this particular job is one Mrs. Wilson called "priceless."

"Having a place to bring Alyia where it's quiet and she can see God's work in action, it's special," the mother said. "So I would guess we'll be coming out here a lot.

"Look at her," she added, smiling as the child lunged for another butterfly. "You think I'm gonna stop hearing about butterflies any time soon?"