Group beautifies West Campus


The american beauty purple plant is one of the plants at the butterfly garden.

Thanks to the efforts of the horticulture club, Valencia Volunteers of West Campus and the Sustainability Committee, a barren piece of land is now a butterfly harbour as part of a world wide event on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Valencia Staff and students came together with shovels and gloves to dig and plant.

A combination of specially identified plants, nectar sources and host plants attract butterflies to the space. Nectar sources include bee balm and tropical sage. When butterflies come and lay their eggs on the right plants, the garden will come alive.

The Student Government Association and the Horticulture Club under Dr. Javier Garces sponsored the event.

Dr. Javier Garces is a professor and program chair for the horticulture department. Debra Green, director of sustainability, is the primary contact for the butterfly garden.

The cloudless morning started early with Debra Taylor, working supervisor of grounds maintenance, setting out plants, hoses, shovels and rail fencing. Students and staff soon joined in picking up gloves and shovels, digging right into the task.

Horticulture club president Anthony Wilcox said, “The horticulture club gave me and other students the opportunity to beautify the environment.”

The tropical milkweed and red salvia plants added color to the center collection of plants with the firebush acting as the centerpiece.

“One of the best things about horticulture is hands on learning. The butterfly planting provides students with an opportunity to gain hands on learning while beautifying the campus,” said Garces.

Volunteer Coordinator Zia-Ur-Rehman Ansari brought donuts, bananas, apples, juice and punch to be enjoyed at the end of the work morning.

Ansari said he was “incredibly thankful for all the volunteers.”

More than 25 people came to help plant the butterfly garden.