Keep North Charleston Beautiful (KNCB) installed a much-needed handicap and wheelchair accessible pathway and seating area in the Park Circle Butterfly Garden this fall, thanks to a 2017 Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant.
The Park Circle Butterfly Garden is located right in the heart of North Charleston, North Carolina, on the grounds of the Felix C. Davis Community Center in the center of Park Circle. The garden is highly utilized by the entire community as a demonstration and educational garden.
The installation of the paved pathway through the garden was completed in September 2017. Yellowstone Landscape installed 720 pavers through the middle of the garden, connecting two parking areas. The end of the pathway features a living fence area with passion vine that provides a creative solution to making sure the entrance is not blocked by other visitors to the community center.
After the installation of the pathway, KNCB volunteers installed additional landscaping and beneficial plants in the areas around the pathway. Many of these plants were installed by preschool students who visited the garden during KNCB’s annual field trips in October of each year. The students installed 300 milkweed and lantana plants.
The project culminated with KNCB’s annual Day of Caring event on Nov. 17, 2017. This year, more than 60 volunteers from local businesses performed landscape maintenance in the Park Circle Butterfly Garden. This year’s volunteers were from Blackbaud, Kapstone Paper & Packaging, Molina Healthcare of South Carolina, and the Medical University of South Carolina.
The North Charleston community has been incredibly receptive to the improvements to the Park Circle Butterfly Garden. Shortly after the pathway was installed, students with limited mobility who had previously been unable to visit the garden were finally able to visit thanks to the improvements. Since its first visit, the class has come back to the garden weekly to learn about the plants and wildlife in the garden. The students in this classroom have special needs, and many of them have taken ownership in the garden and frequently ask their teacher if they can come volunteer with KNCB.
In addition to these younger visitors, the community center is home to the City of North Charleston’s “Just Older Youth” programs for senior citizens. Many of the program participants have commented that they are so excited for the new pathway because it allows them greater access to the butterfly garden so they can enjoy and learn about the plants and wildlife.
With the addition of the paved pathway through the garden, the Park Circle Butterfly Garden is now accessible to community members of all ages with limited mobility. All community members can now visit the garden to learn about wildlife preservation, sustainable planting, pollinators, and environmental stewardship.