Fundraiser to bring a public butterfly garden to New Holland | Home & Garden

Imagine an expansive garden with colorful butterflies darting around brightly colored flowers and plants.

That’s what New Holland District Manager Dick Fulcher has in mind for residents of the east Lancaster County town.

Now, Fulcher and other organizers have started a fundraiser to bring the Community Butterfly Garden to life. The campaign began July 1 and aims to raise $125,000 for the project.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a garden that will live on forever in our community,” says Fulcher.

He shared the idea for the garden with the New Holland Community Memorial Park Association. The plan: to occupy two acres adjacent to Groff Park owned by the district at East Conestoga Street and North Railroad Avenue. The property is owned by the municipality and is part of its fountain conservation area, which includes the new public fountain at the northwest corner of the park.

The association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, approved the plan. As park board secretary, Fulcher coordinates the fundraising committee.

“Who doesn’t love butterflies?” says Dr. Bob Johnson, Co-Chairman of the Committee, who is also Chairman of the New Holland Borough Water Authority.

The retired doctor understands the important role butterflies play as pollinators in our healthy biodiversity ecosystem. Pollination is essential for the propagation of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

“Our loss of pollinators cannot continue if we want life to continue as it is today,” says Johnson, who cited his medical background in life sciences.

Earlier this year, the Smithsonian Institution reported that there are 17,500 butterfly species worldwide, including 750 in the United States. Other common pollinators include honey bees and hummingbirds.

Johnson envisions the garden will provide educational opportunities for children as it adds beauty to the existing park.

Mayor Tim Bender, co-chair of the committee with Johnson, agrees the garden will benefit the community. Having worked for the New Holland Borough Water Authority for 15 years, he knows how limited open space is in New Holland. He sees the butterfly garden as a good use of land.

“It will provide a space for quiet walks, meditation, and purposely a habitat for butterflies, birds, and other pollinators,” says Bender.

Other committee members include Wilbur Horning, Harry Klinger, Amanda Maldonado and Jayne Olin.

Plants in landscaping that attract butterflies include aniseed hyssop, arrowwood viburnum, bayberry, beeberry, clethra, itea, low bush blueberry, milkweed, ninebark, red twig dogwood, winterberry holly, and witch hazel.

The garden will include a memorial stone walking path that connects to Groff Park.

While donations of any amount are welcome, those who donate certain amounts are publicly acknowledged in the garden. Those who donate $250 can dedicate an engraved memorial stone on the garden’s walking trail; Donors of $1,000 to $4,999 are thanked on a recognition plaque in the park, and those who donate $5,000 or more are recognized on a Garden Legacy Wall.

Fulcher says grading and underground infrastructure work is expected to begin this fall. The planting, path, Garden Legacy Wall and plaque of recognition are scheduled to be completed by May 1, 2023.

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