As director of The Family Y's Camp Lakeside in Lincolnton, Chris Hawn knew that he wanted to expand on the camp's environmental education. He also knew that taking his list of project ideas to a group of area Boy Scouts might make for a worthy Eagle Scout project.
Jonathan Portinga, a rising junior at Evans High School, eagerly accepted a chance to complete one of Hawn's envisioned projects -- a butterfly garden -- to obtain his Eagle Scout badge.
"That one just jumped out at me," Jonathan said of the butterfly garden.
The son of Nathan and Cherie Portinga, of Evans, Jonathan started visiting area nurseries and asking for supplies, such as mulch, plants and cement.
"Almost all of my materials were donated," said Jonathan, who held a bake sale at his church to raise funds needed to purchase additional items.
Area businesses participating in the project included Greenbrier Nurseries and Gifts, Southern Landscaping, Springwood Nursery, Sanderlin Greenhouses, Double B Plant Farm, and Home Depot. Ground Cover Supplies provided two truckloads of dirt and mulch.
After gathering donated supplies, Jonathan enlisted the help of the Aldersgate United Methodist Church youth group, friends and family to help him put the garden in order. Members of Boy Scout Troop 615 at Wesley United Methodist Church and Venturing Crew 615 also helped. He is a member of both groups.
The 15-by-19-foot butterfly garden includes three or four butterfly bushes, numerous lantana plants and a honeysuckle vine that will trail on a lattice. There are four or five homemade birdbaths in the garden, with 12 homemade stepping stones that create a path throughout the garden.
Jonathan, a member of his school's JROTC Rifle Team and a lifeguard, said making the birdbaths was a neat project.
"That one was really cool," he said. "They turned out really nice."
In fact, Hawn said the entire garden will serve as a great springboard for teaching visitors to Camp Lakeside about the life cycle of a butterfly.
"One of the things we are learning to do is expand on our environmental education, and we think this will be great in that pursuit," he said.
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