Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Notes from the Monarch Butterfly Garden

Notes from the Monarch Butterfly Garden

Between the heat, the dearth of rain, incredible choking weeds and not enough time we’ve lost a number of plants, And, I must confess, our dog did dig up a few plants while trying to get at a rabbit who’s burrow was in the middle of a clump of milkweed.

However, the survivors are doing their best. The monarchs are ecstatic over the milkweed. We counted at least 10 on Sunday past. Others joined them; yellow and a monarch look alike. I think we need to get a butterfly chart to put up near the garden to help us study lepidopterology (the study of butterflies, moths etc.)

Kristy from the neighborhood has some community service to do for school so she has helped me the last 2 Sunday mornings, she’s a big help. She got everyone watered well. Also, much thanks goes to Kathy Blakely of the Tony Aguirre Community Center who helps see to the watering among all her other responsibilities.

Kristy thinks we should have some sort of decorative tower or trellis in our garden for architectural interest – maybe plant some morning glories or moonflowers – what do you think?

We’re still looking for a master gardener or landscape designer to help us pull the garden together aesthetically. We’ve started our list of plants to buy or request donations for next year. You can help us stretch our dollars and consider making a donation of seeds from your garden; we’d love coneflowers, Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed Susans, and zinnias.
We want to designate the garden as a special place and are looking for donations to help build a small fence around it. We did get some wood donations from Gueier Fence of Blue Springs but it’s more misses than hits getting recycled fencing or lumber. So now we’re trying to find the money or materials to finish constructing and erect it.

Day Laborer Program

Day Laborer Program

We’ll be starting to collect sweat shirts/jackets blankets and winter clothing for the men for winter. To the men reading this – if the clothes fit too big or fit too small – they’ll fit just right for some of our guys. Also, if you have socks and sneakers or work boots you won’t wear anymore – we have just the right feet.

Chess Program

Chess Program

Our bi-lingual chess teacher’s new job does not allow for him to continue. So we are looking for a chess teacher, bi-lingual if possible, who can commit to at least one year to teach chess and possibly put together a team. Ideally, the person would be available on Saturdays. Contact either Julie Robinson at the Ruiz Library 816.701.3487 or or Lynda Callon at the Westside CAN Center 816.842.1298

Back To School Pep Rally – A Celebration of Learning.

Update on Back To School Pep Rally – A Celebration of Learning.

Our 6th Annual Back To School Pep Rally was a success. And this year it was NOT the hottest day of the summer. Our amazing librarian, Julie had us organized within an inch of our lives. We estimated that approximately 1900-2200 people enjoyed hot dogs, chips, and the inflatable activities. And best of all, 1000 brand new backpacks were distributed to neighborhood learners.

On behalf of our families and Westside Kids - we send a special thanks to SOS/Heart to Heart, employees of EMBARQ for their awesome generosity. Thank you to the food crew – Vi Collins, Kathy Kirby, George Morales, Cy Robinson (Julie’s dad), Jerry Morales, Evelyn Bravo; Thanks to the back-pack-stuffers extraordinaire especially Bryan Love and Eric Patterson and the crew from KC Drug Free Sport. And thanks to WCAN Center Police Officers – Matt Tomasic and Chato Villalobos. Thanks to Ezekiel Amador III – for organizing the volunteers. And we extend our sincerest appreciation to all the volunteers. Ricardo Herrera/Tenderloin Grill is our “Hot Dog” benefactor.Thanks to all the WAY Coalition Partners – Irene Ruiz Branch Library, KCMO-Parks & Recreation – Tony Aguirre Community Center, Family Conservancy, Westside Housing Organization, the Housing Authority of KC and the Mattie Rhodes Center, Marcell Morales Gaona and Julie's mom – photographers, EMARQ #9 (Richard) - worked the hot dogs.

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