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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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4-H Club Creates Monarch Butterfly Garden on Cape May County 4-H Fairgrounds

Butterfly Garden

By Press Release

COURT HOUSE – The Greenhouse Garden 4-H Club, under the direction of Nancy Hart and Mary Tozer, Club Leaders and Rutgers Master Gardeners, has created a brand new Monarch Butterfly Garden on the Cape May County 4-H Fairgrounds for all to enjoy.
Hart, a volunteer in the greenhouse at Cape May County Special Services School District (CMCSSSD) where her son is a student, started the 4-H Greenhouse Garden Club to share the benefits of gardening with students from the high school. Hart said, “Mary and I have done numerous activities, experiments, and gardening with our class. This year we decided to apply for a grant to create a Monarch Butterfly Garden. The students at CMCSSSD have a beautiful one on campus and do gardening there.  But, due to the threatened loss of the Monarch species, we wanted to create another garden to spread awareness.”
The 4-H Greenhouse Garden Club was one of six clubs awarded a 2016 Mission Mandate Mini Grant from the Cape May County 4-H Program Advisory Council. The club received $250 to assist in creating a butterfly/pollinator garden on the 4-H fairgrounds.
After learning of the club’s grant and project, a family matched the money in honor of their late daughter, Michelle Mohan, who loved the Monarch Butterfly. With both contributions, the club was able to create a lovely garden plus purchase 300 seed packs of milkweed, a Monarch host plant that will be given to children during this year’s 4-H Fair.  The distribution of the seed packets is being called, “Monarchs for Michelle.”
The garden is in a perfect spot on the fairgrounds, in a grassy area near the horse show arenas. It is located against a building to protect butterflies and other pollinators from the wind. The students in the club made a “puddler,” a decorative sand holder that allows the butterflies to obtain required minerals, for the garden and are also growing common milkweed and butterfly weed to plant there, along with other native plant species that attract Monarchs and other pollinators. Additionally, Hart painted a mural on the wall which enhances the beauty of the garden.
Hart wishes to thank Chris Clemenson, of Clemenson Farms Native Nursery in Estell Manor, for her expert guidance in selecting plants and for the generous discount she gave for the plant purchases.
Please stop by the garden when you visit the Cape May County 4-H Fair and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The annual fair will take place July 21, 22 and 23 at the 4-H fairgrounds, 355 Court House – South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House, New Jersey. Admission is free!
Please call (609) 465-5115 ext. 605 for more information.  Learn more about the Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program and the 4-H Fair at the 4-H Foundation website cmc4h.com 
The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth grades K – 13 on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, natural origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. 

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