Releasing the Monarchs – Our Butterfly Gardens in Lewes

The idea for our butterfly gardens came to be in 2013. Through generous donations from residents, staff, board members, family members and other friends of The Moorings at Lewes, a beautiful paver walkway was created to form a pathway to our gazebo by the pond. This walkway would allow residents and guests easy access to the gazebo where they could relax and enjoy the egrets, herons and other wildlife that visit the community pond. Additionally, engraved pavers purchased through donations help celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, remember loved ones and thank others for the joy they have given.

Shortly after the dedication, Fran Baker, our first apartment resident at The Moorings, mentioned that she had attended a butterfly release. “It was beautiful, and so uplifting. I wish we could do that here” said Fran. What a lovely idea! The research began. How? When? Where?

Then, a note arrived at the Office of Philanthropy from Bill Gehron that stated, “Have you ever thought of having a butterfly garden? The Monarch butterfly is disappearing and a garden at The Moorings could help make a difference.” Was this just a coincidence?

It seems we were destined to include a butterfly release and garden as part of our walkway project. Now, each year new engraved pavers are installed and hundreds of Monarchs are released at this annual event. If you haven’t experienced a butterfly coming to life right before your eyes, you can only imagine the joy it brings!

Our butterfly gardens have been included in the Lewes Garden Tour on two occasions, 2014 & 2015. We were honored to be one of the first residential gardens, not in a private home, to be invited on the tour.  We have been the leaders in working with local garden clubs to help establish Official Monarch Waystations throughout the entire area. Our success in educating others about the plight of the Monarch has also led us to work with local students who often visit our campus.  Partnering with The Nature Generation we are able to provide books and posters to the schools about the Monarch. Our newest butterfly garden is easily accessible to our residents in Assisted Living and Health Care, and was made possible through a generous grant from the Sussex County Council. Watch us grow!