Restoration of The Community Butterfly Garden
For over 20 years, the Gold Canyon Garden Club has been maintaining the Butterfly Garden at Dinosaur Park on Alameda Road using proceeds from their Annual Fall Plant Sale and Raffle. In 2020, the Club was unable to hold this vital fundraiser due to the pandemic. In addition, the long, hot, dry summer, combined with a devastating irrigation leak and enormous water bill, left the Garden in severe need of a restoration, and the Club in a dire financial situation to provide the funds to do so. But thanks to a National Garden Clubs Plant America grant, a National Garden Clubs Youth Pollinator Garden grant, and several donations, the Club is moving forward with Garden restorations.
In 1999, Pinal County Supervisor Sandie Smith asked the Club to become involved in the coordination and building of the planned Dinosaur Park adjacent to the Gold Canyon Elementary School. Charter members were able to secure donated land from the Gold Canyon Golf Resort to erect a Butterfly Garden on the north end of Dinosaur Park. In 2003, the Club received a grant from the Employees' Community Fund of Boeing, Mesa to purchase additional plant materials. The Garden's original purpose was to be a demonstration garden for community residents who wanted to learn about plants which attract butterflies and hummingbirds to their own yards, as well as for the school children to enjoy and use to study. In 2008, Alliance Landscape and Concrete generously donated time and labor to install the beautiful wooden Butterfly Garden sign.
In 2014, the Garden went through its first major renovation with the help of Smiling Dog Landscapes. The trees in the garden had become overgrown, and invasive species of plants, such as mistletoe, had taken over much of the garden and trees. The original irrigation system needed to be replaced, and many dead or dying plants needed to be removed and replaced. In addition, Old West Machining and Welding donated a new welded metal arch to replace the original wooden arch that had deteriorated.
In 2016, the Gold Canyon Garden Club was recognized by the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs for their Civic Achievement, Conservation, and Butterfly/Pollinator efforts during the restoration of the Garden.
Due to the recent changes in ownership of both the Gold Canyon Golf Resort and the Elementary School, now Gold Canyon Community Church, and a collaboration with the Pinal County Parks Department, the Gold Canyon Garden Club's "Friends of the Butterfly Garden" are moving forward with another renovation. Additional repairs are being made to the irrigation system, vandalized signs and benches are being replaced, and soil supplements are being added to the rocky, sandy ground to encourage new growth of pollinator plants. Protective barrier steps are being taken to address the abundant rabbits in the area who love to nibble on any new buds or plants in the Garden.
Although the cost of these latest renovations exceeds the amounts received by the Grants, the Friends of the Butterfly Garden are dedicated to this labor of love and encourage members of the community to visit the Garden and follow the progress. We also ask that you help us care for the Garden by reporting any vandalism or suspicious activities at the Garden, or anywhere in Dinosaur Park, to local authorities.
Anyone interested in donating towards the restoration the Garden, or interested in learning more about the Gold Canyon Garden Club and their other community activities, can reach us at email@example.com or on our Facebook page.