Albany's Butterfly Garden dedicated -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany's Butterfly Garden dedicated

City and county officials speak at dedication City and county officials speak at dedication
Members of Dougherty Co. and Albany area enjoy presentation Members of Dougherty Co. and Albany area enjoy presentation
Butterflies now have a place to call home Butterflies now have a place to call home

The Monarch Butterfly Garden at Radium Springs was dedicated Tuesday morning.

New botanicals are a collaborative effort between Dougherty County, Albany Technical College, and Southwest Georgia Master Gardeners.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard, Deacon Ri Lamb, of St. John & St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Pastor H. C. Boyd, Shiloh Baptist Church and Dougherty County Commissioner John Hayes were joined by Master Gardener Larry Sellers.

"To be able to come in and keep this, restore it, and maintain this beauty for generations to see verses this just going away, just being something on the side of the road, says a lot about southwest Georgia, about this community, about how we think about those falling behind us," says Dougherty County Commissioner, Jeff Sinyard.

Albany's Monarch Butterfly Pollinator Garden is a certified "Pollinator Habitat" by Monarchs Across Georgia, a part of the Environmental Alliance of Georgia.

Master Gardener Suzanna McIntosh, a sponsor of the project said that the garden is another unique point of pride for Albany and Dougherty County, and will aid in the education and scientific expansion of Albany's young people.

A Master Gardener R & D Monarch Butterfly Pollinator Garden Committee was formed in early 2011 with Suzanna MacIntosh and Larry Sellers as co-chairs and members Patsy Andrae, Dale Aycock, Joe Cliff, Norman Hannibal, Patsy Stripling, and Henrietta Tharpe.  

The Southwest Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are coordinated through the Dougherty County Extension Office under CEA James Morgan. 

There is a 10 county area including Baker, Clay, Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, Randolph, Schley, Sumter, Terrell, and Tift counties.  Many of the Master Gardeners belong to the Southwest Georgia Master Gardeners Association and this year's President is Phyl Strawbridge. 

In Georgia in 2011 over 3,000 Master Gardeners donated over $4 million of community service.

Tallahassee's Apalachee Audubon and their Monarch Pollinator Garden at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge inspired the garden.  Apalachee Audubon Past President Ed Gartner and Board Member Ann Bruce have been great sources of encouragement and help. 

The 24th Annual Monarch Butterfly Festival will be held at St. Marks NWR on Oct. 27, 2012,

The garden has recently been certified with the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia's Monarch's Across Georgia program as a "Pollinator Habitat".  At the Dedication Master Gardener Larry Sellers will present the certification and a sign with help from Southwest Georgia Master Gardener Association President Phyl Strawbridge and Dougherty County Cooperative Extension Agent James Morgan.

Master Gardeners will give "First Saturday Walks" at the garden on Nov. 3 and Dec.1 from 10 until noon. For more information Phone: (229) 436-7216.

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