Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Young and elderly volunteers plant butterfly garden in Beattyville

Beattyville Elementary School PRIDE Club members with a few of the Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center who helped plant a butterfly garden

The Beattyville Elementary School PRIDE and residents of the Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center partnered to plant a butterfly garden and release butterflies at the center, which overlooks the Kentucky River near Beattyville. In this photo, the students and a few residents posed with teachers, parent volunteers and others who assisted with the project. Photo by Three Forks Tradition.

At a truly special event on May 9, Beattyville Elementary School students and residents of the Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center planted a butterfly garden and released live butterflies at the center, overlooking the Kentucky River near Beattyville.The 19 fourth and fifth graders who participated were members of the BES PRIDE Club, which explores nature and performs community service. More than a dozen center residents took part in the project.

The students arrived at the center at 3:45, along with BES Principal Maureen Patrick, BES Teacher/PRIDE Club Sponsor Bethany Hobbs, other BES teachers and parent volunteers.

Residents joined them to plant and mulch the garden. Even residents who were confined to wheelchairs were able to help by giving directions on the best way to set out the native plants.

Next, Katie Phillips, PRIDE Club President, read a lovely poem. Then, the students and residents released their butterflies at the same time.

“It was a breathtaking display as all the butterflies flew out into the garden,” said Sandy Gay of the Lee County Conservation District, who assisted with the project. “Needless to say, smiles were plentiful all afternoon.”

A member of the Beattyville Elementary School PRIDE Club planted a native plant in the butterfly garden at the Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center.

A member of the Beattyville Elementary School PRIDE Club planted a native plant in the butterfly garden at the Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center. Photo by Three Forks Tradition

“After the event, Ms. Hobbs told me this was a project that she and her students would never forget,” Gay said. “That is exactly what we hope to achieve when providing environmental education to our young people. We want these projects to make a lasting impression.”

“The residents seemed to have a great time, and center residents will be able to enjoy the butterfly garden for years to come,” Gay added.

The project was the vision of Savanna Noe, a junior at Lee County High School, who volunteers at the nursing home. As a former Southside Elementary School PRIDE Club President, she knew that partnering elementary school students with our older citizens would be a win-win for both groups.

Ms. Hobbs shared that sentiment, and she knew that her active club was up for the task.

Ms. Hobbs and the PRIDE Club thanked Savanna Noe, the parent volunteers, the Lee County Conservation District and Wayne Phillips, who is the Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center Activity Coordinator.

The conservation district purchased supplies, a butterfly house and the butterflies. The school bought the native plants and mulch for the butterfly garden with its PRIDE Club grant.

The project earned the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award. Gay — who coordinates PRIDE in Lee County and chairs the regional PRIDE Board of Directors — surprised the PRIDE Club with the award after the butterfly release.

The PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award rewards creative, effective ways of promoting environmental awareness and stewardship. PRIDE presents one award each month to a school within 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. PRIDE is a nonprofit organization that encourages personal responsibility for the region’s environment.

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