Next time you're in downtown, be sure to check out the new award sign at The Butterfly Garden. On August 30th, Amy Upton, the Executive Director of Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association, presented Mayor Pro Tem Pat Lockwood and Fenton Beautification Commission Chairperson Dawn Overmyer with the 2023 Community Landscape Beautification Program Award. This award is granted to projects in Michigan that enhance the visual image of the neighborhoods, improve livability, build civic pride, and promote community spirit. Senator Lana Theis, 22nd Senate District, presented a special tribute to The City of Fenton that documented the acquisition and installation of the project.
In 2018, Gerry and Kay Willey, owners of Fenton Home Furnishings, generously donated $17,000 to help the City of Fenton DDA to purchase "Stainless Steel Butterfly" by artist James Havens. The Willeys and their granddaughter, along with Mayor Sue Osborn, cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the gardens to the public nearly five years ago. The sculpture now stands tall above the grounds of the gazebo near City Hall, surrounded by a native pollinator garden that is maintained by Fenton's DPW Master Gardener, Sarah Angus.
Upton congratulated everyone who worked on this project and commented that it truly was a community effort. The Butterfly Garden ranked high in all judging categories such as impact on the community, project design, quality of construction, and proper horticulture practices. One of the features that really drew attention is the nighttime lighting that attracts nocturnal pollinators while adding an exciting feature to the downtown. Members of the Beautification Committee, who took part in the design concepts of the Butterfly Garden, along with members of City Council, The Willey Family, City Management, City of Fenton DDA, and local residents, gathered by the river to celebrate this achievement that so many hands worked to create. The City of Fenton would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the Butterfly Garden project for helping to make Downtown Fenton a beautiful space in our community!
Pictured from Left to Right, Senator Lana Theis, January Sage, Paul Overmyer, Nancy Draves, Dawn Overmyer, Rod Willey, Helena Krzeminski, Nicky Willey, Sarah Angus, Thomas Begin, Tessa Stickel, Michael Hart, and Patricia Lockwood.