America’s heralded groundhog weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter earlier this week, but members of Southeast Missouri State University’s Horticulture Club are hoping the rodent is a bit misguided.
That’s because the Club is ready to get back to work on the butterfly garden it installed last year at Shawnee Park in Cape Girardeau. The Club recently was recognized for its efforts with the 2015 Jim Peckosh Greening of the Midwest Memorial grant. The award honors the work of the club in installing the garden last spring.
The Horticulture Club was honored Jan. 3 at the 125th anniversary celebration of the Western, an annual trade show and education event sponsored by the Western Nursery and Landscape Association. Eighteen Southeast students along with Dr. Sven Svenson and Heidi Clark, Horticulture Club advisors, attended the Western in Kansas City.
“It is rewarding to see our student’s public service efforts being recognized on a regional level,” Svenson said.
The Horticulture Club plans to use the grant to purchase more “butterfly” plants for the garden which is located near the children’s playground area in Shawnee Park, Svenson said.
The Horticulture Club has been working with the City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation department on a variety of projects for several years, he said. Julia Thompson, Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation director, suggested and arranged the location where the butterfly garden was installed.
“The students in the Horticulture Club love projects that beautify the landscape and serve to improve the environment at the same time,” Svenson said.
The Jim Peckosh Greening of the Midwest Memorial grant was established in 1998 by Mrs. Jim Peckosh to honor the memory of her husband. She established a $5,000 endowment through which the Western Nursery & Landscape Association presents a grant each year to a public project that promotes landscaping in the Midwest. The grant is awarded at the discretion of the WNLA Board of Directors and is given to projects in member states – Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma – on a rotating basis.