A permanent full-color porcelain enamel sign was dedicated Oct. 29 for the Butterfly Habitat Garden at Sonoma State University from the Santa Rosa Garden Club. The new interpretive sign (3' x 2') depicts three butterfly habitats with color photographs of the adult butterfly, caterpillar and host larval plant. The sign was dedicated in honor of member, Mary Merritt, who has volunteered at SSU since 1991.
Santa Rosa Garden Club members secured a grant from National Garden Clubs, Inc. in 1993 to obtain funds to create the Butterfly Garden. Additional grants were obtained throughout the years from National Garden Clubs, Inc., California Garden Clubs, Inc. and California Horticultural Society. Financial support totaling over $25,000 including the $7,000 Butterfly Habitat Garden sign has created today's park-like setting in addition to being an outdoor classroom.
Mary Merritt's enthusiasm for the Butterfly Garden has been supported by the club, and especially by fellow member Julie West who will become President of California Garden Clubs, Inc. in 2011 (the statewide federation of garden clubs and plant societies representing more than 20,000 California gardeners).
West's goal during her two-year term is to raise funds to purchase and install additional permanent interpretive signs for the Kenneth M. Stocking Native Plant Garden on the SSU campus as a symbol of both Santa Rosa Garden Club's and California Garden Club's continued commitment to their educational objectives and the SSU Native Plant Garden.