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Friendship Village Presents: A Butterfly Garden in Your Community at LSN Conference
Associates of Friendship Village were invited to present: A Butterfly Garden in Your Community at the LSN conference as part of the Life Enrichment and Wellness track. Friendship Village was represented by Director of Lifestyles Michael McCann, Director of Building Operations Rick Paisley and Foundation Manager of Friendship Senior Services Foundation Kate Gabarek.
Over the course of several years, Friendship Village cultivated a butterfly garden. Focusing on specially selected plants known to attract butterflies, the garden grew to be thriving, fragrant and beautiful; however if unfortunately didn’t attract butterflies. To solve this dilemma, the lifestyles team, land stewardship committee and Foundation of Friendship Village joined forces to purchase butterfly kits. Through these kits, more than 30 butterflies transformed from larvae to chrysalis to painted lady butterflies.
The project was undertaken as a fundraiser. Residents were encouraged to make a $5 donation for which they were permitted to name one of the butterflies. Due to the generosity of donors, enough money was raised to pay for all of the butterflies, as well as to help sponsor a small fountain to add to the butterfly garden. On June 11, 2011, a celebration was held as the butterflies were released into the garden. The hope is that they stayed in the garden and bred in order to ensure future generations of butterflies.
McCann said that Friendship Village was honored to be invited to present the project at LSN. “We felt that the Butter Garden Project was a great way to educate our peers on two levels; the first being how to actually plan and build a butterfly garden along with the wellness benefits it represents to the residents and community,” he said. “The second level was to create an understanding of how big of an impact interdisciplinary teams can make in your business from a fundraising/philanthropy standpoint as well as a cultural lifestyle standpoint”.
“Presenting at a conference like LSN is of course an honor, as it is intended to be an opportunity for the best-of-the best in our industry to convey some of their wisdom to others, sharing their ideas and collaborating new ones as we work to better our overall service to seniors in our community,” said Kate Gabarek. “It’s quite humbling to think that some of our work is at the caliber that others should ‘take note’ and recreate that effort on their campuses. It’s also a driving motivator to continue to find new and innovative ways to offer the best to our residents.”
During the presentation, Kate said, “we did our best to offer both general lessons learned from the project, but we also sought to offer replicable insight into how other communities, most of which are smaller than ours, could create the same stirring and engaging opportunity for residents to learn, interact and engage in philanthropy.”
“I wish I could say that I knew from the beginning of the Butterfly Garden Project that we were on the edge of brilliance. Maybe my wise partners in crime did. But so much of this project came together because of luck and the dedication of a few key people who wanted to make this garden a reality,” Kate said.« Back