An opportunity to learn more about pollinators and plants that attract them is coming to DeWitt on Saturday, Aug. 26, with the appearance of Rhonda Brady, of Galesburg, Illinois, and her "Mari Posa Bus" at two different locations.
The bus is Brady's traveling classroom, an extension of her work that began in 1997 to teach anyone who will listen about monarch butterflies.
She will be parked from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Outdoor Living Classroom garden in the Clinton County Fairgrounds.
And from 12:30 until 2 p.m., she will be at the south pavilion of Westbrook Park, an area where the DeWitt Noon Lions Club have installed a pollinator garden.
At both locations, activities will include mini scavenger hunts, demonstrations, monarch banding (if monarchs are available) and distribution of milkweed seed plants that you can plant yourself. Participants also will be able to tour her bus that is full of informative materials.
The pollinator garden at Westbrook was spearheaded by Peg Thiltgen who requested money from the club and, with the park board's approval, tilled, planted and cared for pollinator plants such as milkweed and butterfly weed.
Her work was in response to a challenge issued by Lions Club International for clubs across the country to do something to help the environment.
This year the garden expanded by two sections, with signage, plant labels and a butterfly "cutout" in which people can pose to have their pictures taken.
Brady's appearance and activities are sponsored by the Lions, the DeWitt Parks & Recreation Department, Bickelhaupt Arboretum and the Clinton County Gardeners of Iowa State University Extension.
Brady is a University of Illinois Master Gardener who long ago became captivated by the monarch story, its life cycle and migration. She began giving presentations to share the awe and wonder as well as to encourage support of the butterflies' future by planting habitat.
Several years ago, her husband gifted her with a bus, a $4,000 purchase, so she could take her show on the road. She named it "Mari Posa Bus" for the Spanish name for butterfly.