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Rotary club’s butterfly garden project nears completion
River Park butterfly garden
As part of a civic project, the Rotary Club of Dawson County recently finished most of the work on a butterfly garden and new pavilion at River Park.

Local residents and visitors will soon be able to enjoy one civic group’s vision for a scholastic and family-friendly outdoor attraction.

The Rotary Club of Dawson County recently finished installing the major elements of a butterfly garden project at River Park, located off of Ga. 9 South. 

Rotary club vice president Brooke Anderson and member Jeanne Tompkins were the project’s managers. 

So far, the civic group has installed a butterfly sculpture, elements of a pollinator education garden, a new picnic pavilion and environmental education signs. Anderson first presented a proposal for the endeavor during the Board of Commissioners’ Nov. 18 work session, where commissioners ecstatically responded to the idea. 

The garden is rounded, flanked by educational signage and its ground decorated with brush, boulders and flowers. In the garden clearing, two picnic tables were placed for use. 

Rotary members also built and installed a new park pavilion with tables between the garden clearing and the riverside pavilion. 

Anderson explained that the project’s idea came from consideration of Rotary International’s seventh, newest area of focus of supporting the environment. He said the civic group then coordinated with the county government, particularly Parks and Recreation, to make the installations a reality at River Park. 

Rotary club members and numerous other volunteers have gone out for multiple work days since mid-February, with the largest number of them gathering to work on March 19. 

Now, there is mainly some smaller signage and tidying up that needs to be done around the garden, Anderson said. 

“We wanted to add a family element to the project…so that it’d be another location in Dawson County where families could enjoy being outside and having picnics, family gathering [and] those sorts of things,” he said. 

He elaborated that the garden’s proximity to the new pavilion gives people the chance to learn about nature while also having fun outdoors. 

“We’re excited about the work we’ve been able to complete, and we’re excited to put a bow on it and wrap it up soon,” Anderson added. “When we do, I hope that citizens and folks in Dawson County enjoy it and enjoy being outside with one another.”