31 Aug Member Spotlight – The Cedars’ Butterfly Garden
The Cedars story began 126 years ago when farm land was purchased in Darlow, Kansas, South of Hutchinson. In 1953 land was purchased on Kansas Avenue, in McPherson to begin a retirement community. To this day The Cedars is the longest running retirement community in Kansas. Currently they have 115 duplexes, 50 assisted living apartments, 12 memory care apartments, and 75 health care beds. “The Cedars has gone 6 months Covid free, that is a testament to our employees and their focus on keeping our residents and staff safe,” said CEO LaMonte Rothrock.
LaMonte went on to say, “These past and current decisions and transformations are now being symbolized today by another addition to our campus with this butterfly garden. It not only symbolizes The Cedars and its residents care of our environment; it also symbolizes that people move to The Cedars to continue to grow in new and different ways in serving the world. We are proud of our residents and staff for this new addition to our campus, the community of McPherson, and our bigger world.”
The committee that helped to bring the idea of the butterfly garden to life consist of Carolyn Schrock, Paul Ediger, Perry McCabe, and Kurt Wagner. Carolyn Schrock mentioned that the spot for the butterfly garden had developed over the past 4 years. Carolyn was worried about the large decrease in pollinators in our country, consisting of bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other insects. As a result, our food production will be diminished because crops and orchards can not be productive without pollination. So, Carolyn asked herself, “What can I do to help this situation?” Carolyn began to plant flowers in her home garden to support pollinators. When she saw the spacious campus of The Cedars, she then asked herself, “why not intentionally use the entire campus to support pollinators?” She wrote up a proposal and presented to the Village Council in hopes that they would sponsor the expanding pollinating plants on The Cedars campus. The Village Council agreed, and the committee was formed.
The committee raised money to support the cost of the plants as well as advertised for participants. “The response was positively amazing,” said Carolyn. Carolyn became aware of a group called Monarch Watch. This group is a cooperative network of students, teachers, volunteers, and researchers dedicated to the study of the Monarch butterfly and it spectacular fall migration. Monarch Watch also has a monarch weight station. The purpose of this program is to provide habitat necessary to support the butterflies on their yearly migration, from Canada to Central Mexico. Interstate I-35 is part of one of the main routes that the butterflies use for this migration. Being so close to I-35 Carolyn believed they should join the weight station program. CEO LaMonte Rothrock agreed and was enthusiastic of the idea, so The Cedars garden registered with the national organization and is committed to create, conserve, and protect monarch habitation. Of course, The Cedars gardens are homes to other butterflies and insects as well.
“We are planning on expansion in the coming months,” said Carolyn. “We are pleased with the progress of our gardens. It has been a wonderful year for them to get established. We are so happy that so many of you are passing by on your daily walks to see how they are growing and see all the butterflies that have come to visit. The Village Council and committee thank you to all that have contributed to this project both through financial donation and hard work caring for the plants.”
To learn more about The Cedars, check out their website at thecedars.org. Also check out these photos on Facebook from the Chamber Connection and Ribbon Cutting hosted by The Cedars and their garden committee.