CID plants butterfly gardens along the Avenue

Nikki Lansford
Editorial Assistant


With over 400 plants in the ground, nice weather and community fun, the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) butterfly garden planting was a success.


The event, hosted by the Chamber and the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (CID), occurred Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During this time, the organizations and community volunteers came together to help plant monarch plant kits in planter beds and pots along Independence Ave. between Montagall and Wabash avenues.


The butterfly gardens are a part of the Monarch Mariposa Project, which is sponsored by Kansas City Southern Railroad, the Kansas City Downtown Rotary Club and Suburban Lawn & Garden. The goal of the project is to help save the monarch butterfly population by providing safe spaces for the butterflies to rest along their migration route south to Mexico.


A total of 27 kits supplied by Suburban Lawn & Garden were planted along the Avenue that morning, said Mike Spady, Urban Planner and Director of Operations for the CID.


Some of the plants in the kits included Butterfly Weed, Blue Wild Indigo and Pale Coneflower. Each flower from the kits was carefully selected as a way to provide optimal support for the monarchs traveling through the area, Spady said.


Markers were placed in each planter bed and pot days prior to the event. The markers were then used on the day of to outline where each plant from the kits would be placed.


“It took just a couple days to place the markers in each bed,” said CID Street Ambassador Shae Walkin, who was in charge of placing the markers along the Avenue.


There was an importance to mapping out where each plant would go before the actual planting began, Spady said. For instance, it was important to know which plants were designated for the south side, and which for the north, so that plants got the proper sunlight they required.


On the morning of the event, CID members and community volunteers were tasked with matching plants to their corresponding markers and then simply planting them in their appointed spot.


The event started a little slow in the beginning, but after the first couple planter beds were completed, the butterfly garden planting was well on its way.


“We had to substitute some plants around,” Walker said when addressing the slow beginning to the morning. “[Suburban Lawn & Garden] sent us a bunch of flowers that were not on the list, so I’m like, ‘Okay, we’ll just have to make some substitutions.’”


The event brought out a handful of community members who wanted to help support the Avenue and the Monarchs. One volunteer, Bill O’Brien, brought his daughter out to help with planting the gardens.


“We actually just moved to the KC area from Seattle, and so we’re just trying to get involved in our community,” O’Brien said. He said it was an easy sell to get his daughter to come out and help because she loves the monarch butterflies she has seen on her family’s camping trips to Mount Baker.


In addition to the actual planting, the event offered much more to its community members who stopped by to help. There were sweet treats, such as popsicles from Frutopia, drinks provided by Eleos Coffee House and free gifts for kids.


The Chamber and CID also provided volunteers with the opportunity to have their face painted by Pendleton ArtsBlock resident Bethany Alzanadi for the first half of the event. For the second half, professional mime Beth Byrd-Lonkski appeared as the event’s mascot known as “Betty the Butterfly.”


The hope is these monarch butterfly gardens will not only make the Avenue look nice, but also provide a “waystation” for butterflies migrating through the area, said Bobbi Baker-Hughes, President and CEO of the chamber and manager of the CID.


“The monarchs symbolize emigration and transformation,” Baker-Hughes said. “And I say that that’s what our community here is built upon, our immigrants coming in and transforming their lives and this community.”

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • The dining room is open!

    November 25th, 2021
    by

    For the first time in almost twenty months, NourishKC will be reopening its dining room in the Kansas City Community […]


    Providing for those in need

    November 24th, 2021
    by

    Staffers and volunteers at the Mattie Rhodes Center on North Topping are busy this afternoon providing Thanksgiving meals to over […]


    PIAC funding to improve Budd Park with shelters

    November 24th, 2021
    by

    By Dorri Partain After vandals torched one of the wooden picnic shelters in Budd Park in May 2016, park users […]


    Art Garden KC and Northeast Chamber host Holiday Market

    November 24th, 2021
    by

    By Autumn Garrett, Editorial Intern The Art Garden KC and Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce opened the first Holiday […]


    Street Improvements for 8th St. and Woodland Ave.

    November 24th, 2021
    by

    By Autumn Garrett, Editorial Intern Historic Northeast residents had the opportunity to give input on the street improvement project at […]


    Community, KCPS honor Thacher School with monument

    November 24th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover Friends of Thacher School, Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) employees, and community members met at 5008 Independence […]


    North Lawn shooting injures two

    November 23rd, 2021
    by

    A late afternoon shooting in the 300 block of North Lawn sent two men to the hospital with non-life threatening […]


    Sani-wiping the Avenue Clean

    November 22nd, 2021
    by

    At this stage of the game in the ongoing pandemic, one thing is certain. Keeping things clean and sanitized is […]


  • City Sweeps Paseo Homeless Camp

    November 19th, 2021
    by

    The City’s Public Works Department swept a tent camp on the southwest corner of Independence and Paseo on the site […]


    Machete fight sends one to hospital

    November 19th, 2021
    by

    Thursday evening at approximately 5:55 pm KCPD officers were dispatched to the area of Windsor Avenue and Gladstone Boulevard on […]


    KC man pleads guilty to robbing Independence Ave. Taco Bell at gunpoint

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    A Kansas City, Mo., man who was charged in two separate federal indictments pleaded guilty in federal court today to […]


    Sporting KC players visit Ryogoku Soccer Academy in Northeast

    November 17th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover Sporting Kansas City (SKC) players and the Victory Project delivered nearly 200 soccer balls to Ryogoku Soccer […]


    Police Athletic League debuts pickleball courts, honoring supporter’s dying wish

    November 17th, 2021
    by

    By Autumn Garrett The Police Athletic League (PAL) of Kansas City debuted new pickleball courts on Wednesday, Nov. 10, thanks […]


    NEKCHS visits Tiffany Castle

    November 17th, 2021
    by

    Members of the Northeast Kansas City Historical Society (NEKCHS) gathered at Tiffany Castle, 100 Garfield Ave., in the Pendleton Heights […]


    Industrial Salvage & Wrecking Co. celebrates 60 years

    November 17th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover Industrial Salvage and Wrecking Co. (ISW), based out of 3570 Gardner Ave. in the Northeast Industrial District […]


    PH neighbors, businesses keep the future in mind for Lexington bike lane plan

    November 17th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover Lexington Avenue in Pendleton Heights may soon be upgraded with a protected bike lane, a plan that […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.