GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in Bloom representatives, along with area sponsors and partners, gathered to open its butterfly and pollinator garden on Fourth Avenue across from Washington Elementary School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and formal introduction on Monday.
“This is a big undertaking,” said GIB Volunteer Coordinator Kim Canaday. “This is 16-by-32 feet of beautiful, unspoiled nature. No pesticides or chemicals (were used). This will be an organic garden for everyone to enjoy. It will bring in the bees and the butterflies…Around 75 percent of the vegetation around the world needs pollinators. So, when the pollinators (are) dying off. We’re in trouble.”
Foundation for Appalachian Ohio provided money through a grant through its AEP Access to Environmental Education program.
“It’s been great to follow the project at the different stages of development,” said foundation representative Kelly Mormon. “It’s great to see cooperation and coordination between the different groups in the community.”
“Before the ladies of Gallipolis in Bloom took over trying to beautify the city, we had nothing like it,” said City Commissioner Tony Gallagher. “They’ve really worked hard in bringing (America in Bloom) judges here and making this an area known (for its gardening efforts). They appreciate everything they do.”
Gallipolis Junior Women’s Club, the Gallipolis Emblem Club 199, Gallipolis Elks Lodge 107, Gallia Soil and Water Conservation District along with Ohio Valley Bank have contributed to the project. Boy Scout Troop 200 assisted with much of the physical labor in creating the garden.
According to Canaday, butterflies and bees species have dwindled in recent years nationally due to pesticide use. The garden intends to attract more bees and butterflies to the area which is keeping with GIB’s mission of promoting beautification, gardening and being environmentally minded.
“You don’t need a lot of growing space,” said Canaday. “Even planting one or two of these little plants can help out in a big way.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.