Our Town Monona Butterfly Garden bringing pocket of peace to community

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 8:22 AM CDT
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MONONA, Iowa (KCRG) - All this week, we’re calling the towns of Monona, Postville, and Luana ‘Our Town’ and sharing what makes them so special. A pocket of peace in Northeast Iowa is the Monona Butterfly Garden. It’s been a part of the community for 22 years.

The Monona Butterfly Garden was started in 1999. In addition to being a place where butterflies thrive, it’s also where volunteers gather to join to add to the beauty of Northeast Iowa. Jim Langhus said it started when a group of people including himself noticed monarch butterflies migrating through and staying. It’s changed a lot in the years since then.

”It started out as kind of a garbage dump,” Langhus said.

Now a six person committee manages the park.

Students and a church have a yearly tradition of coming to maintain the garden. Langhus says an estimated 1500 to 2000 hours of work on the park happens every year.

”It’s difficult to say how many volunteers because there are, other people that come in to just work for a day or two, or they bring their families,” Langhus said. All to make a nice place for the variety of butterflies.

“There are a lot of butterflies that come in here and their host plants are here and their nectar plants are here and their homes are here,” Langhus explained.

That includes flowers, and annuals planted in June, for an immeasurable number of flowers. Langhus estimates it’s at least in the four figures. The Butterfly Garden is part of an entire park system. Trails link it to other parks across Monona.

”It was kind of the beginning of a larger project, a project that got a life of its own. And just took off,” Langhus said.

It’s supported through grants, donations, and hard work…for the butterflies and the people to enjoy.

”You can come down here and it’s just a wonderful place to sit,” Langhus said.

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